News & Events


Press Release



October 18, 2016


Cowley College to add wrestling in fall of 2017


The Cowley College Board of Trustees approved the decision to give Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle and athletic director Shane Larson the authority to move forward with adding wrestling as a College athletic program in the fall of 2017. The announcement was made during the monthly Board meeting held Monday, October 17 in the McAtee Dining Center.

The Board also made the recommendation to retain former Arkansas City High School wrestling Coach Wayne Jackson as a consultant to Larson if Coach Jackson is willing. Jackson led the Bulldog program from 1979 to 2000 and won a record 13 Kansas State Team championships during his tenure. The team’s accomplishments included the success of 150 individual state placers and an incredible 57 individual state champions. Coach Jackson has remained involved with Ark City wrestling since stepping down in 2000.

During Monday’s meeting, Larson provided the Board with a feasibility study that showed the benefits of adding a new athletic program at the College. Four sports were taken into consideration in the study. The study showed there is a large recruiting base in the region to support the addition of a wrestling program at Cowley College. The NJCAA allows 18 scholarships for wrestling, and most intercollegiate programs carry rosters of 30-35 athletes.

The study also showed the popularity of wrestling in the Cowley County region could lead to more participation in the Tiger Booster Club and provide an opportunity for increased enrollment.

Along with the study, Larson provided the Board with printed emails and letters from individuals supporting the startup of a wrestling program at Cowley College.

Larson said the College will look to hire a head coach to lead the wrestling program in January or February, 2017. This will allow the coach time to assemble a roster and schedule matches.

Dr. Rittle thanked Larson as well as Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, and Christopher Hollon, executive director of institutional effectiveness, for their work with the feasibility study.

In other matters: 


  1. Dr. Rittle provided the Board with an update on the College. Dr. Rittle mentioned the Student Information System (SIS) is making solid progress. He also spoke of the canvassing being done in Sumner County ahead of the Nov. 8 election to build a new Cowley College campus in Wellington through the support of a ½ cent Sumner County sales tax. Over 500 Cowley Proud signs are being placed in Sumner County with an additional 500 signs being ordered due to an overwhelming demand. Dr. Rittle also presented Cowley College sophomore Olivia Powell with a certificate recognizing her recent achievement of being named the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Player of the Week. Powell has been named the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Offensive Player of the Week each of the past three weeks.
  2. Approved the decision to form a sub-committee to represent the Board of Trustees in search of property in Wellington in the event the College is successful in the Nov. 8 election. The sub-committee will consist of Board Chair Bob Juden, Ned Graham, and Brian Sanderholm.
  3. Saw Dr. Rittle present Ashley Huslig of Wichita, KS with a gift for being named the school’s October Student of the Month.
  4. Received an overview from Cowley president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle and Trustee Brian Sanderholm of the ACCT Leadership Congress they attended Oct. 6-8 at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans, LA. Sanderholm spoke of things the Board needs to be doing, while Dr. Rittle attended sessions on Foundation Boards and how to start an athletic program responsibly
  5. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, informed the Board of the following items; the auditor of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Lloyd, LLC will be on campus this week to conduct the audit fieldwork for the annual financial statement audit for year ending June 30, 2016. Dr. Walker also mentioned the majority of the end of year projects are completed. The College has finalized the design of the signage and will bid the project before the close of the month. The College anticipates construction on the softball facility to start in the middle of December and be complete before the start of regular season in the spring. Additionally, the College is in the process of writing the bid specification for the portable concession facility (food truck), which will complement the softball complex.
  6. Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board of the successful Health and Human Services Day the College held on Oct. 5. The event featured 17 exhibitors and 80 visitors. He also praised the work of executive director of enrollment management, Josh Cobble, and associate vice president of academics and secondary partnerships, Janice Stover, for helping the College prepare to offer short term accelerated courses in between semesters to provide an opportunity for students to earn credits that will count toward financial aid, academic and/or athletic scholarship eligibility. Dr. Arnett also introduced new associate vice president for business and industry, Tina Grillot, who spoke of the upcoming Manufacturing Day event the College plans to host for Arkansas City eighth graders on Nov. 15. Grillot also discussed her recent visit with the Kansas Board of Regents in Topeka.

    “Tina has done an extremely good job and has hit the ground running,” Dr. Arnett said. “We are glad to have her.”
    Lastly, Dr. Arnett mentioned IMPACT/TRIO employees Mike Rosales and Mandi Hernandez, who took on a morale project on the Ark City campus. Rosales and Hernandez used their own resources to purchase candy and put motivational messages on them to deliver to Cowley employees. “This is one more story about the kind of people we have working at Cowley College,” Dr. Arnett said.
  7. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided the Board with an update on the Student Information System. Erdmann said the College continues to bring various modules up, then resolve issues as they are found. The new Tiger Connect portal is up and running, while the first payroll run on the new system was recently completed. The purchase requisition functionality was recently enabled and employees are beginning to learn the system and submit their orders. The College also recently purchased and installed a new disk backup appliance to support the new Student Information System and the central storage network. Lastly, the College recently signed a one year contract with CampusWorks to provide product specific technical expertise for the new SIS.
  8. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, informed the Board that the Cowley College Foundation website is up and running and can be found at The most important aspect of the website is it gives the Foundation the capability to secure online donations in real-time. The Foundation also now has an opportunity to reach donors globally as well as have a dedicated online presence specifically for the Cowley College Foundation. Dr. Gregg also mentioned several inquiries have been received requesting information on setting up new scholarships as well as the College’s participation at the Wichita Exposure event held at Century II. Lastly, she mentioned the College receiving two Gold Medallion Awards and three Bronze awards at the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations District 5 annual conference held October 2-4 in Kansas City, MO, and the Foundation Banquet that will take place Thursday, Nov. 3.
  9. Josh Cobble, executive director of enrollment management, informed the Board that the admissions representatives are staying busy with high school visits and working to inform students and their parents about the opportunity they have with high school Pell grants. Cobble also mentioned the Senior Day event the College will host on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and the Veteran’s Day event that will take place at Cowley College’s Mulvane Campus on Nov. 11.
  10. Christopher Hollon, executive director of institutional effectiveness, discussed the completion of the IPEDS report for the fall. The new SIS was successfully utilized to retrieve these data. He also mentioned the Higher Learning Commission team recently met to discuss the needs and future plans for the endeavors for AQIP and strategic planning. Fall focus is on employee morale and will continue on as needed. Additional areas of focus may be added during the winter and spring.
  11. Shane Larson, athletic director, provided a student affairs report on behalf of Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs. Larson said the dorms are at 95 percent capacity. He also praised the work done by coordinator of health services, Lea Newman, during the Red Cross Blood Drive and free flu shots given on campus by Walgreens.
  12. Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board about the upcoming Tiger Booster Club luncheon at noon Thursday, October 20 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. He also mentioned October Athletes of the month Sarah Frendo and Victor Goncalves, and the recent article that appeared in the Wichita Eagle in regards to Jayhawk Conference schools that may explore leaving the conference. It is not Cowley College’s current intention to change its conference affiliation, but the college intends to consider options and to be made aware of options for a change in conference affiliation under the guidelines of its NJCAA membership. Cowley College believes the current Jayhawk Conference restrictions on scholarships and roster size limit the school from providing more opportunities to more students.
  13. Accepted a letter of resignation from Kiersten Theurer as Registrar Department secretary, effective September 30; accepted a letter of resignation from Chris Fuller as admissions representative, effective October 6; accepted a letter of resignation from Alysa Parson as admissions representative, effective October 13.
  14. Accepted a letter of retirement from Tammy Barnaby as freight and supplies specialist, effective Dec. 31. Barnaby has been employed at the college for the past 28 years.
  15. Approved the employment of William “Billy” Bledzoe as admissions representative at Cowley College’s Wichita Campus, effective October 18; approved the employment of Adolphus “AD” Denson as admissions representative, effective October 18; ; approved the employment of Ali Carpenter as admissions representative, effective October 18; approved the employment of Caroline Fulbright as admissions representative at Cowley College’s Wichita Campus, effective October 18; approved the employment of Justin Peterson as admissions representative at Cowley College’s Mulvane Campus, effective October 18; approved the employment of Lena Watkins as Foundation Coordinator, effective November 8.
  16. Approved Cara Kem, interim theatre director, be placed on the salary schedule at Level A instead of Level C. This item was to remedy an error in salary schedule classification.
  17. The Board approved the election of JoLynn Foster to replace Ned Graham as the Foundation Board Representative.
  18. Held an executive session for 30 minutes for preliminary discussion of non-elected personnel, property and consult with legal counsel.