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Presidential Candidate Campus Visits

Our two presidential finalists will be visiting campus. Tony Crouch will be on site Wednesday June 22nd, and Dr. Randy Smith will join us on Thursday, June 23rd. The breakdown of their schedule of events is listed below.

8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. – Campus Tours (All Cowley Locations)

  • 8:00-9:00 – Tour main campus
  • 9:20-9:45 – Tour Winfield Allied Health Center
  • 10:20-10:50 – Tour Mulvane SEA Center and Mulvane Tech Center
  • 11:15-11:30 – Tour Wichita Down Center
  • 12:00-12:30 – Tour Sumner Campus

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch with Administrative Council (Short Community Room, Sumner Campus)
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Open Forum for Employees and Community (Brown Theatre and live streamed)

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Candidate Dinner with the Board of Trustees (Wright Room)
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Face to Face interview with the Board of Trustees in Executive Session (Wright Room)

Cowley College Board of Trustees narrows presidential search to two finalists

With current Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle’s final day at the College set for July 9, the presidential screening committee at the College has narrowed the search for his replacement. The two finalists for the presidential position are Tony Crouch and Dr. Randy Smith.

Crouch will tour Cowley College’s Campuses and facilities on Wednesday, June 22, and Dr. Smith will do the same on Thursday, June 23 based on the following schedule:

8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. – Campus Tours (All Cowley Locations)
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch with Administrative Council (Short Community Room, Sumner Campus)
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Open Forum for Employees and Community (Wright Room and live streamed at:
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Private Dinner with the Board of Trustees (Wright Room)
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Face to Face interview with the Board of Trustees in Executive Session (Wright Room)

Bios for the finalists:

Tony Crouch

Tony CrouchTony Crouch is the vice president for finance and chief financial officer of Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. Since January 2022, he has also served as the interim president of the College. During his tenure at Southwestern, Crouch has helped the College secure a strengthened financial footing. Achieving operational efficiencies and encouraging a culture of financial discipline, in 2021 Crouch helped the College secure its first surplus budget in many years. Crouch also played a principal role in securing an $11.66 million financing package through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Community Facilities direct loan program to build a new residence hall, with construction set to begin in 2022.

A native of Alva, Oklahoma, Crouch began his career in the private sector at Conoco, Inc. He worked his way up developing professional skills as an accountant and tax analyst, eventually becoming a senior accounting analyst at Conoco. In 1994, Crouch then took an opportunity to work in higher education at Cowley County Community College and in doing so found his true calling. He has since accrued nearly 30 years of experience working in higher education. He has worked at both two-year and four-year institutions and has experience in leadership at both public and private institutions.

Crouch has served as CFO at five institutions, including 15 years as executive vice president of business services at Cowley College, where he also served for a period as interim athletic director, as well as serving twice as interim president.

During his career, Crouch has had responsibility for areas such as budget, accounting, financial services, contract management, human resources, transportation, information technology, financial aid, building projects and maintenance. He was instrumental in the construction of the Webb-Brown Center, Central Avenue Dormitory, Travis Hafner Training Center among others, and multiple renewal projects on Cowley College’s Arkansas City campus, as well as their facilities in Mulvane. He has consistently achieved operational savings while simultaneously improving or increasing services delivered.

Crouch completed a master’s of science degree in leadership at Southwestern College in 2014 and received his bachelors of science from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma. He is currently scheduled to begin a doctorate of education leadership degree at Southwestern College in the fall of 2022.

When not working, Crouch enjoys spending time with family and volunteering at his church, where he leads Sunday School discussions, and writing. In 2021, Crouch published his first book, “Letting God’s Word Speak.” Crouch also volunteers as a board member with Big Brother Big Sisters of Cowley County and is currently serving as president of the organization. He and his wife have five grown children and nine grandchildren. The Crouches enjoy animals, they have four cats, three dogs, two miniature horses, and a chicken.

Dr. Randy Smith

Dr. Randy SmithDr. Randy Smith is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma. He has been involved in higher education for over 26 years. He has served as a faculty member, dean, vice president of academic affairs and College president. He currently serves as the Director of Program Development/Emergency Management and special advisor to the Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.

He served as the president of the largest organization of rural colleges in the United States which included policy work in DC and countless on the ground trainings and consulting for rural colleges. Dr. Smith is a regular presenter at state and national conferences on the topics of leadership in higher education and student recruitment and retention at rural colleges, and workforce and economic development in rural communities.

He has testified in front of committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as an expert on issues regarding rural higher education. He was an invited participant to the White House Summit on Community Colleges and has served as a member of the 21st Century Community College Commission that was charged with developing a long-term strategic plan for community colleges nationally. He also facilitated the first ever Memorandum of Understanding between a higher education organization and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Smith facilitated the inclusion of rural community colleges in the Federal Farm Bill, the first-time rural colleges have been specifically included in federal legislation. He received a three-year appointment to the America’s College Promise Advisory Board which deals with higher education costs nationally. His true passion is helping colleges retain students to completion and he has developed training programs to assist colleges in all aspects of enrollment management. He also developed a Board Training Program entitled Roles and Responsibilities for Boards of Trustees at Rural Colleges and he teaches this program across the Nation.

Dr. Smith enjoys serving in the community and has held several positions including board chairman for a rural county hospital district, volunteer fire fighter and paramedic, member of a municipal police commission, and board member for a regional chapter of the American Red Cross. He is currently a certified law enforcement officer and has been for more than 14 years. He has provided service as a police officer to his rural community for many years. He also served as a judge for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant in Las Vegas, and he coaches rodeo queens and contestants from across the Nation. His daughter Emily was a Miss Rodeo Oklahoma State Titleholder.

Dr. Smith holds a B.A. in Political Science, an M.S. in Emergency Health Services Administration, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership. He also completed the Educators’ Leadership Academy at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is a recipient of the USDA Lincoln Honor Award, (for his work with rural colleges and communities) the highest award presented by the US Department of Agriculture.

He and his wife Dora have horses and cattle near Seminole, Oklahoma. Their daughter Emily is a student athlete at Northwestern Oklahoma State University (sophomore) where she is majoring in music education. She is an accomplished track athlete and is a member of the NWOSU track and cross-country teams.

Dr. Smith enjoys rodeo, ranching, working with horses, playing and coaching basketball, powerlifting, golf, community service as a law enforcement officer, and all outdoor activities. His favorite activity is simply being outdoors on his horse.