October 17, 2023

Board meeting and community forum held at Sumner Campus

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Hearing from individuals in the Wellington community, the Cowley College Board of Trustees conducted its October Board meeting Monday in the Short Community Room of the Short General Education Center on the Sumner Campus in Wellington. Following the Board meeting, there was a question-and-answer forum for community members in attendance.

Also, during the meeting, Christina Henson with the Loyd Group, LLC, gave the College glowing reviews while going over the 2022-2023 annual audit. In performing the audit, the accountants examined the validity of financial transactions according to generally accepted accounting principles and State Law. In addition, they have been instructed to apply the standards established by the policies of the Board of Trustees. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Management Discussion and Analysis (MDA), and Henson provided the audit findings.

In other matters:

  1. Cowley College president Dr. Michelle Schoon provided a College update. She informed the Board about the recent Professional Development Day held at the College. She also offered an enrollment update showing Cowley is down 3.2 percent in student headcount and 4.2 percent FTE as of the annual reporting date. There was a slight increase in Cowley and Sumner students enrolling at the College in the fall. Dr. Schoon also provided an enrollment management update and discussed the College’s involvement with the recent National Night Out event in Arkansas City. The College is also preparing to have E-Gaming at its main campus in Arkansas City and Sumner Campus in Wellington, KS. Lastly, spring enrollment begins on Tuesday, October 17.
  2. Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update. The Trustee Finance Subcommittee requested the Board pledge support for the Ark City Rec Plex initiative and potential future use of the Carver Park property.
  3. Board Chair Brett Bazil provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
  4. Approved the Consent Agenda:
    1. Board Minutes of the September 18 meeting.
    2. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
    3. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
    4. Administrative Reports.
    5. Held first readings on the following policies: (123.00) Budget; (454.00) Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL).
    6. Approved the following policies: (112.00) Fringe Benefits – Full-Time Employees; (124.00) Retirement Benefits; (165.00) Sick Leave – Full-Time Non-Faculty Employees; (167.00) Tuition Reimbursement for Full-Time Employees; (216.00) Graduation Requirements.
    7. Personnel Transactions. The Board was informed of the resignation of Bryson Reed as custodian, effective October 13, and Janet Grace as Sumner Campus Operations Officer, effective October 17. “I am going to miss the people and social events here at the Sumner Campus, but it is time for the next chapter in my life,” Grace said.
    8. The Board was informed of the employment of Jesse Milliron as groundskeeper, effective October 9.
  5. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. Foundations and slab work for the new Career and Technical Education building were completed at the end of September. Steel is going up this month, along with roofing. Exterior framing is expected to begin within the next six weeks.
  6. Dr. Rachel Bates, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board of new course approvals.
  7. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
  8. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that All components for the Integrated PostSecondary Data System (IPEDS) Fall Collection were submitted three weeks prior to the federal deadline of October 18. The Winter Collection opens on December 6.
  9. Stefani Jones, director of student enrollment and success, provided an enrollment update. In the month of September, a total of 166 admissions applications were processed. Letters of acceptance were sent out to all accepted applicants.
  10. Kristi Shaw, executive director of student services, provided a housing update.
  11. Jeff Fluty, athletic director, informed the Board that the athletic department is taking part in CLAWS (Cowley Leaders At Work) training during the month of October. This is done to enhance process improvements within the department.
  12. Dr. Scott Layton, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors. He also mentioned that multiple faculty attended the Kansas Core Outcome Group meetings to align the competency of several classes.
  13. The meeting adjourned at 5:40 p.m.