With Harold Arnett’s last day at Cowley College approaching in early September, Natural Sciences Department chair Michelle Schoon has been appointed to the position of interim vice president of academic affairs.

Schoon will begin working alongside Arnett, and soon will assume decision-making and leadership responsibilities for academic affairs.

Michelle Schoon, Cowley College interim vice president of academic affairs


“I had the opportunity to know Dr. Arnett before he started in his role at Cowley, and have worked closely with him through the Academic Affairs Council,” Schoon said.

“Doc’s sense of humor and genuine concern for others will be greatly missed. I appreciate the work that he has done for Cowley College and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Cowley College President Dennis Rittle expressed his appreciation to the many employees who met with him one on one to help him to make this decision.

“I wish Dr. Arnett unceasing success as he transitions into the next season of his life and career,” Rittle said.

“Equally, I congratulate Dr. Schoon on this opportunity to serve the college in this very influential and important capacity as the interim vice president of academic affairs. The college will look to permanently fill this position during the upcoming spring semester.”

Schoon has been at Cowley College since 1991. Along with serving as the Natural Sciences Department chair, she teaches Principles of Biology, General Biology I and II, and Human Anatomy and Physiology.

Schoon also serves as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) liaison, where she keeps track of accreditation requirements and processes for the college, and submits documentation to HLC as needed.

She said she will miss not working with students on a daily basis, but is looking forward to this new challenge.

“I have always worked in the education field and understand the life-changing value of an education,” Schoon said.

“My main goal through the academic affairs office will be to provide effective academic support to faculty and staff, with the end result of helping students reach their academic or career goal. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the interim vice president of academic affairs and want to thank those co-workers that have given me words of encouragement and support.”

While at Cowley, Schoon has received an Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, and also been named the college’s Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence and Student Learning (2000) and Paul Stirnaman Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence recipient (2005). She also was named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 2004 and 2007.

Schoon has a bachelor of science degree from Bethany College in Lindsborg, a master of curriculum and instruction degree from Wichita State University and an educational doctorate from Southwestern College in Winfield.

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.