About NWACC President | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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About President Dr. Dennis C. Rittle


Before joining NWACC, Dr. Dennis C. Rittle was the Cowley College President in Arkansas City, Kan. and previously served as the Ozarka College Provost and Executive Vice President of Learning in Melbourne, Ark.

Dr. Rittle began serving as a full-time faculty member in higher education in 1995 and has since provided educational leadership for government, for-profit and public educational sectors in both two-year and four-year institutions.

He was the first in his family to attend college and to earn a two-year degree from the Community College of the Air Force. While in the military, Dr. Rittle served both overseas and stateside during peacetime and conflict and is a highly decorated veteran and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Throughout his career, he has completed five degrees and has since completed post-doctoral coursework at Harvard University and will complete an MBA at the University of Kansas in 2022.

Dr. Rittle is a highly respected presenter in local, national and international settings to include being a guest lecturer and presenter in venues such as Bentonville, Ark., at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., and in Oxford, UK. He is also an accomplished researcher and author, to include more than a dozen scholarly publications.

Student success has served as a centerpiece throughout Dr. Rittle’s career. He has developed new funding streams of more than $20 million to increase access to quality and affordable higher education. Dr. Rittle has been involved in the development of more than three dozen academic programs and certificates to provide a skilled and work-ready workforce to area businesses and industries.

In addition, he understands the importance of co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities such as internships, student clubs, athletics and campus-life activities to enhance student learning, student retention and community engagement.

Dr. Rittle also recognizes and supports the value of the college’s most importance resources, the employees. During his tenure as a college president, he championed the adoption and implementation of a competitive pay scale for all employees and the inclusion of compensation for years of service.

In addition, Dr. Rittle prioritizes communication with employees to discuss their interests and concerns through various media such as weekly newsletters, bi-weekly town hall meetings, roundtable discussions with faculty leaders, and campus sit-down meetings with all employees each semester.

As a high-achieving transformational servant leader, Dr. Rittle has served on numerous state and national boards, councils and committees, to include serving as the president of the Kansas Community College Council of Presidents and as a board member of the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges. Dr. Rittle has been the recipient of numerous local, state and national awards in education, business and leadership. However, he considers his greatest achievement to be his family. Dennis and his wife, Christy, have been married for 30 years. Recently, they celebrated the wedding of their son and the birth of their daughter’s first child. Dennis and Christy enjoy spending time in nature and volunteering their time and resources to meet community needs. Their faith has been and continues to be the cornerstone of their lives.  

Dr. Rittle earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership, emphasis in Human Resource Development, from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School in Lancaster, Pa., a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., and two Associate of Applied Science degrees in Teaching and in Meteorology from the Community College of the Air Force in Montgomery, Ala.