News & Events

Press Release



September 21, 2017


Board announces donation of Bowman family property


The Cowley College Board of Trustees, along with president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, expressed their appreciation to the Bowman family for two pieces of property that were recently donated to Cowley College during the monthly Board meeting held Monday, September 18 in the McAtee Dining Center.

The property, located at 303 South Third Street and 415 West Washington in Arkansas City, was donated in honor of Carrie Effie.

Board Chair Bob Juden thanked the Bowman family for the generous gift.

“That ground will be used for something special you can be sure of that,” Juden said.

Also during Monday’s meeting, Cowley College athletic director Shane Larson provided the Board of Trustees with an update on the new wrestling program. Larson said there are 33 student-athletes on the wrestling team, with12 of the athletes walking on to be a part of the squad. Larson said through discussions with members of the wrestling team an additional 28 students decided to enroll this fall semester at Cowley due to a person they knew coming to wrestle at the school.

The wrestling program recently received new competition and practice mats as well as a new locker room in the Cowley Recreation Building.
Tiger fans can get their first look at the wrestling program when Cowley hosts Neosho County in a dual at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 9 inside W.S. Scott Auditorium.

Also during the meeting, Cheri Hulse and David Herlocker with Agora Architecture were on hand to show renderings of the Cowley College Sumner Campus. The Board viewed floor plans for the Short General Education Center and the Technical Center. Hulse informed the Board there would be additional large paper-based renderings available for public viewing at the groundbreaking ceremonies scheduled for 1 p.m. October 11 in Wellington, KS. The location of the future campus is east of Walmart along Highway 160. Refreshments will be provided and the event is open to the public.

With the recent approval of the developer’s agreement, Conco Construction has begun prepping the site. They will begin digging the foundation for underground electrical and plumbing later this week.

Agora Architecture will have 3D Virtual Modeling goggles available at the groundbreaking ceremonies for individuals to get an interactive first look at the Sumner Campus before it is constructed.

The Technical Center is expected to open in the fall of 2018 followed by the opening of the Short General Education Center in the fall of 2019.

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a College update. Dr. Rittle mentioned the good work done by College faculty and staff to stabilize enrollment and the recent renovations done to the Admissions Department.
2. Presented Phi Theta Kappa main campus sponsors Dr. Scott and Deborah Layton with a 5-year Service Award. The Layton’s have helped the Alpha Gamma Upsilon Chapter of PTK in Ark City receive Five Star level status. “Scott and Deborah are dedicated to the cause of raising the chapter to extraordinary levels,” Dr. Rittle said.
3. Saw Dr. Rittle present Kelsie Whitcomb of Wichita, KS with a gift for being named the school’s September Student of the Month.
4. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented with general operating funds of $1,488,433.44, financial aid funds/student refund checks of $3,035.80, and federal funds of $17,846.16.
5. Received an Early Childhood Development Center update from Janet Davidson, Cowley College’s Director of Early Childhood Education. Davidson informed the Board that she is in phase one in receiving a USDA Grant for $7,786 to purchase Early Childhood Education supplies.
6. The Board viewed statistics that show that graduates of Cowley College are excelling at the four-year schools they transfer to. A recent example was provided through a transfer report from Emporia State University that showed 97 Cowley College graduates posted a cumulative 3.29 grade point average during the spring semester at ESU. The spring semester GPA for all 3,242 Emporia State University undergraduates was 3.03, and the GPA for all 1,994 community college transfer students at ESU was 3.15.
7. Dr. Rittle, Trustee Jill Long, and Board Chair Bob Juden attended the KACCT quarterly meeting September 9-10 at Butler Community College in El Dorado, KS, where Trustee Long and Chair Juden presented on the state of Cowley College. Trustee Long thanked Cowley College’s Marketing Department and Dr. Rittle for providing a wonderful power point presentation as well as drone footage. “We have a lot to be proud of,” Trustee Long said. “Our faculty, staff, and students shine.”
8. The Board reviewed a gift range chart and approved the donation requirements for naming rights of spaces at the Sumner Campus.
9. Approved the assignment of Chair Juden as the Trustee representative designated to open bids received for college purchases, and Dennis K. Shurtz as the alternate representative to open bids.
10. Held a first reading of the Board policy Acquisition and Disposal of College Property. Final approval will be requested at the October Board meeting.
11. Approved the purchase of two minivans from Zeller Motors, who provided the lowest bid and best value to the college.
12. The College has posted a request for proposal for Government Affairs Liaison on the college website at In addition, the college will post in at least one of the local newspapers in the state of Kansas. Submission of request for proposal is due Monday, September 25 at 5 p.m. The college will seek Board approval if the price exceeds $25,000 in accordance with Board policy 137.00 Conflict of Interest, and 132.00 Purchasing.
13. Approved the purchase of 540 desktop computers and other IT-related equipment from JR MicroSystems LLC.
14. Approved Conco Construction to self-perform the concrete work for the Sumner Campus Technology Building.
15. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, provided a Wellington Campus update.
16. Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that 1,302 tickets have been sold for the children’s performance of Mary Poppins. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Oct. 19. Dr. Arnett also mentioned the SmarterMeasure readiness assessment, which was launched in early July, has already seen significant returns with over 200 plus students successfully completing the assessment within the Blackboard Student Orientation. SmarterMeasure informed the college that this has been the highest initial use of any institution they currently work with in Higher Education. Dr. Arnett also said the 2017 Andover Paramedic class had a 100 percent pass rate for their NREMT practical certification exams. Chris Cannon will be submitting a grant proposal for additional Perkins Funding for the EMT program.
17. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, informed the Board that new Alumni Relations and Golden Tigers Coordinator, Adriana Somerville, has begun working on the next Alumni event to be held during Arkalalah. The event will feature the traditional theatre float which will be designed by a group of pre-engineering students from the college. A design competition is currently underway. Following the Arkalalah parade, an alumni meet and greet will take place where all Cowley alumni can mingle and enjoy complimentary food and drink. Dr. Gregg also thanked the Marketing Department and Admissions Department for their help working the college’s booth at the Kansas State Fair.
18. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, discussed work being done on the Parent CRM module that gives students the ability to grant permission to a designee, allowing them to view chosen portions of their student record, including grades, attendance, courses currently enrolled in, and viewing/paying of bills. The module will be available for student use in the near future. Erdmann said the IT Department is also finalizing the implementation of student pictures being loaded into Tiger Connect.
19. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, informed the Board that she is working with Cowley First, the college’s Marketing Department, and partnership schools on the Cowley Tiger Stripes Work Ethic Program. Shaw also mentioned the Superintendent, Principal, Counselor Day that was held on September 20.
20. Chris Hollon, executive director of institutional effectiveness, told the Board the academic year reporting for the Kansas Board of Regents is complete. Hollon also discussed the training of new advisement software he provided to employees during professional development day.
21. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update that showed the dorms are at near capacity. O’Toole also discussed successful student life activities such as the Solar Eclipse Watch Party held on August 21 where 500 solar eclipse sunglasses were distributed. Lastly, O’Toole mentioned the federal government recently increasing Student Support Services grants by 2.5 percent nationwide.
22. Shane Larson, athletic director, provided a fall sports update.
23. Approved the 2017-2018 Master Agreement between the Cowley College Education Association and the Board of Trustees.
24. Accepted a letter of resignation from Steven Storm as paramedic instructor, effective September 8.
25. Approved the employment of Cameron Schwartz as paramedic instructor, effective September 19; approved the employment of L. Deanne Fort as accompanist/admissions director, effective September 19; approved the employment of Jim Sawyer as public safety officer, effective September 19.
26. A committee has been formalized to provide a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on the consideration of renaming the City Ball Park.