NORFOLK – A prominent figure at Northeast Community College is leaving earlier than expected, but not before leaving behind a long lasting mark on the institution.
Dr. Michael Chipps has served as President of Northeast Community College for seven years, but has been involved in Nebraska’s higher education for 40.
Chipps has set his retirement date to May 31st, several months earlier than previously announced.
Chipps says that’s because both himself and the college want to streamline the transition process to make it as smooth as possible.
But even without the influence of the college, he knew it was time to retire.
“I had a lot of presidents talking to me over the years saying, ‘Mike you will know when it is time’, and that season has come and so you come when it’s well positioned. You decide to move forward, or in this case to retire, when you know the institution is going wonderfully well.” Chipps says.
Chipps began his time at Northeast Community College in 2012.
Previous to leading the college, he served as president and chief executive officer of Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte and McCook.
During Chipps’ service, several new programs have started at Northeast including plumbing, manufacturing and precision agriculture as well as creating new and reviving older sporting programs.
In 2013, men’s golf and women’s volleyball were reinstated after ten years. In 2015, men’s soccer and women’s softball were added.
Most recently, men’s and women’s rodeo were established in 2018.
Board of Governors Chairman, Steven Anderson says Chipps’ legacy at the college will be remembered.
“To work with him the last seven years has been a real pleasure. What Chipps has dome for the community college has given us the opportunity to see what the community college of the future is going to look like.” Anderson says.
After his time at the college, the thing he will miss most are the people.
“I love the people I work with, I will always love them. But the issue is, there’s nothing more than the love of the student. To be able to make sure that you can change people’s lives in a short amount of time.” Chipps says.
Even after the list of accomplishments, Chipps says he is glad that he could make a difference in the place that he works.
“To be able to come here at the end of the career, to make this a moment for a college to shine even further than it was when I arrived is just a miracle in the making.”