Find Bill
Find Your Legislator
Legislative Deadlines
Jan. 20, 2018
RSS Feed Permanent URL -A +A

Minutes for SB75 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Adding an additional member to the board of trustees of Cowley county community college.

Minutes Content for Wed, Feb 1, 2017

Chairperson Baumgardner started by calling on Nick Myers of the Revisor of Statutes Office to explain SB75 which would authorize the addition of an additional board member from Sumner County to the Cowley County Community College Board of Trustees. SB 75 would not affect any other community colleges  Mr. Myers gave an update and brief explanation of SB 75 and each Committee Member received a copy of the Fiscal Note and Memorandum. (Attachment 1) (Attachment2)  He noted that this bill only affects Cowley and Sumner County. Mr. Myers noted that current law allows six or seven board members currently, and this will be amended to allow seven or eight board members. 

Senator Doll asked why any board would have an even number.  Mr. Myers could not address this, however stated that they were allowed to keep the number at seven board members and it would give them the option to have up to eight members.

Senator Estes asked what the justifications to add a board member would be and Mr. Myers stated that the conferees will address this in their testimony.

Senator Pyle asked about term limits being a germane amendment to this bill.  Mr. Myers stated he can talk privately on term limits after the meeting. Chairperson Baumgardner clarified the section that deals with term limit and addressed Senator Pyle's question.  Dennis Rittle of Cowley College also answered the question about term limits.  They clarified that the Board does not have term limits and the Board members are voted on every four years.

Chairperson Baumgardner introduced Dennis Rittle, President of Cowley College and Jessica Lucas, Cowley College Government Liaison.  Dr. Rittle and Ms. Lucas presented testimony in favor of SB75.  Ms. Lucas began by expressing that her home county, Sumner, wanted representation on the Cowley County Community College Board of Trustees and they could not legally do so right now. (Attachment 3)

Dr. Rittle asked for the Committee's support and Senator Alley noted that he believes this is what they need for representation.  Senator Alley spoke on how he would appreciate the Committee's consideration on this bill.

Senator Doll asked Dr. Rittle if they have trustee districts. Dr. Rittle stated that they have an at-large membership, where board members can come from anywhere within Cowley County.  Senator Doll cautioned any boards that choose to have even numbers and hoped that this would not be done at Cowley County Community College.

Chairperson Baumgardner discussed their current population and asked what growth they anticipate on campus when they add the new facility. Dr. Rittle stated Cowley College will draw in additional students. Mr. Rittle discussed student totals, noting that virtual students make up 17% of enrollment and that Cowley College has the largest college enrollment in Kansas for hybrid classes.  Dr. Rittle noted that students do better if they have some type of touch or hands on, however out of convenience they take virtual.  Dr. Rittle discussed that if students take a hybrid path the students can go back online if they miss the in person class.  Dr. Rittle and Senator Alley both noted that the facility is important for the technical aspect of education. 

Chairperson Baumgardner asked what happens if SB75 does not get out of committee, or signed into law, where would that leave Cowley College.  Dr. Rittle stated that maybe they would look at an advisory board, but hoped that was not the path as Cowley College believes in shared governance and a shared voice.

Senator Hensley noted that he has proposed past bills to get equal representation and that he supports this bill as he feels it would do just that. 

Chairperson Baumgardner asked the Committee about RS700 which relates to the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) classification system based on student attendance.  She asked if the Committee was interested in having this brought to them. Senator Bollier stated that she would because it affects people in her district and has had constituents ask for information on this.  All Committee members were in favor of having a hearing.

Chairperson Baumgardner reminded the Committee that tomorrow they would be looking at SB100, a bill concerning Mental Health Nursing Scholarships, and also a presentation from Kansas Association of Community College Trustees (KACCT).