News & Events


Press Release



September 20, 2016


Cowley soars in credential attainment


Cowley College’s Board of Trustees were provided with an update on the recent KACCT/COP quarterly meeting attended by President Dr. Dennis C. Rittle during the monthly Board meeting held Monday, September 19 in the McAtee Dining Center.

Dr. Rittle reported that there were two areas of focus at the KACCT meeting held September 9-10 at Seward County Community College. One being, that the KACCT requests all community colleges to send a consistent message when speaking with legislators about the incredible return on investment community colleges provide to their communities and the State of Kansas. 

The second theme Dr. Rittle noted is the Kansas Board of Regents’ request for all community colleges to increase their student credential attainment. Currently, the national average is 10 semesters of decreasing enrollment. Add that to the decrease in the overall Kansas population and the decrease in state funding, and colleges face some significant challenges. However, in light of those challenges, Cowley is one of the top student credential attainment colleges in the State of Kansas per headcount and is willing to take the challenge of increasing student credential attainment because of the tremendous value to students, industries, and communities.

Dr. Rittle praised the work done by the faculty and staff of Cowley College.

“It takes an entire college effort, and those who work with the students on a day-to-day basis, to make this happen,” Dr. Rittle said. “
Also during Monday’s meeting, the Board heard of the success of Cowley College’s Golden Tigers program, which offers educational opportunities through a variety of classes, workshops, trips and other activities to community members 50 years of age or over. During the 2015-16 year a total of 1,103 individuals participated in classes and trips through the program.

There were a total of 811 participants in Golden Tiger classes and 292 participants in the program’s educational trips. 

Margaret Neal, Golden Tigers program coordinator, said the program could not offer so many classes without the many individuals willing to teach classes. The instructors this year were: LaDona Anstine, Rikki Hettenbach, Debbi Davidson, Larry Schwintz, Jan Hathaway, Sue Carpenter, Ron Upton, Fred Taylor, Deb Holman, and Margaret Neal.

For more information on the program contact 620-441-5286 or email

In other matters:

1. Dr. Rittle provided the Board with an update on the College. Dr. Rittle mentioned how nice it was to have students back on campus for the fall semester and thanked Board Chair Bob Juden for speaking to the college employees at in-service. He also mentioned the aspect of increasing enrollment, the SIS migration, and the campaign to bring a Cowley College campus to Wellington.

2. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented with general operating funds of $1,701,461.39, and financial aid funds of $14,624.50, and Foundation funds of $7,322.49.

3. Saw Cowley College president Dr. Dennis Rittle present Debra Arnett of Wichita, KS, with a gift for being named the school’s September Student of the Month. “I could not have done this without the impeccable staff here,” Arnett said. “They make you want to do good.”

4. Approved the request to extend the cost of living increase of 2.5 percent to the college’s regular part-time employees. The regular part-time employees include 10 hourly employees and three staff. The estimated cost to extend cost of living to these employees is approximately $6,080.

5. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, informed the Board of the following items; the auditor for Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC will be on campus the week of October 16, 2016 for the audit fieldwork for the annual financial statement audit for the year ending June 30, 2016; the college has decided not to pursue purchasing the second floor of the school’s Wichita campus. The college will instead pursue a redesign of the first floor to maximize the usage of space.

6. Approved the request to hire Gordon & Associates Architecture to provide architectural services in regards to expansion at the Lady Tiger softball field to include schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding and negotiation, and construction administration for a fixed fee not exceed $12,500.

7. Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, said a meet and greet reception for the college’s new Associate vice president of business and industry, Tina Grillot, will be held Friday, September 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the President’s Dining Room. Dr. Arnett also praised the work of Devin Graves and Janice Stover in helping with the SIS (Student Information System) migration.

8. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided the Board with an update on the SIS migration. The SIS is open to module managers but not yet open to the general public. The plan is to open the Tiger Connect portal to students on Wednesday. The school has three experts on campus this week to help with the migration.

9. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, provided the following update: representatives from Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC will be presenting the finalized audit results at the Oct. 13, 2016 Foundation Board meeting; the Foundation website has been completed and the school is currently working with Nelnet to set up the portal which will allow us to accept online donations through a secure server; the new mobile website is now live. A new home page was designed for the mobile site as well as a new “About” section which allows for easier use and navigation of the website via mobile devices. Dr. Gregg praised the work Chris Absher has been doing on both the website and mobile website; mentioned the hiring of Abby Hollins as director of marketing and the Foundation Coordinator position being advertised.

10. Josh Cobble, executive director of enrollment management, provided the Board with a copy of the new viewbook. He also said 54 FAFSA’S have been received to date from high school dual enrollment students, and the admissions staff recently wrapped up representing the college at the Kansas State Fair.

11. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing and health services update, while also discussing the success of back to school activities and hiring of Ashley Demaree as Student Life Counselor.

12. Shane Larson, athletic director, discussed the recent Tiger Magic Alumni Baseball Reunion and Tiger Booster Club Luncheon planned for Wednesday, September 21 at noon in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. He also mentioned the Blitz Drive has raised $62,850 in pledges. Lastly, Larson praised the work being done by first-year cross country coach Dan Adler as the Lady Tiger cross country team recently won the Missouri Southern Stampede, while the men placed fourth. “He is a doing a phenomenal job with the program.”

13. Accepted a letter of resignation from Lisa Miller as admissions representative, effective August 26; accepted a letter of resignation from Robin Reidle as admissions representative, effective August 18; accepted a letter of resignation from Desiree Nellis as Upward Bound program assistant, effective August 26.

14. Approved the employment of Tina Grillot as associate vice president of business and industry, effective September 20; approved the hiring of Abby Hollins as director of marketing, effective September 6; approved the employment of Tia Bunch as nursing coordinator, effective September 12; approved the hiring of Ashley Demaree as Student Life counselor, effective September 20.

15. Held four executive sessions totaling 60 minutes for preliminary discussions relating to non-elected personnel, property, and consult with legal counsel.