Skip to main content

College News

Chipps to retire later this year; served 40 years at Nebraska community colleges

Chipps to retire later this year; served 40 years at Nebraska community colleges

NORFOLK, NE – Dr. Michael Chipps, who has served Nebraska’s community colleges for 40 years, has announced that he will retire from his position as president of Northeast Community College later this year.

Chipps shared his intentions with the Northeast Board of Governors and the college community this week.

“Northeast is a special place for students to learn, faculty to teach, and for staff to support and promote student success. After several weeks of reflection on our major initiatives and my own desire to make sure the college is positioned well for the future, I have informed the board that I plan to retire later this year and write a new chapter in my life.”

Chipps’ last day will be December 31, 2019.

He said he is grateful for the many accomplishments that Northeast has achieved and a number of initiatives that have been undertaken over the past seven years at the College.

This includes a new extended campus facility in O’Neill, the Donald E. Nielsen Career and Technical Center in West Point, Applied Technology facility, Physical Plant facility, Path (residence) Hall, Hawks Point (dining) facility, renovation and expansion of the Student Center, and Hawks Village, on the Norfolk campus. Other highlights are the establishment of the Center for Global Engagement and the Center for Enterprise, the design and implementation of the Vision 2020 comprehensive strategic plan, a 10-year master site and facilities plan, a 10-year institutional reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and also Northeast named as one of America’s Top 10 community colleges by the Aspen Institute.

Northeast was also recognized by the nation’s largest organization that works closely with community colleges during Chipps’ tenure. In 2013, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) named Northeast one of four national finalists for its Awards of Excellence as an Outstanding College/Corporate Partner for its collaborative work with the Nucor Detailing Center in Norfolk. In 2015, AACC named Northeast a top four national finalist for its Exemplary CEO/Board of Trustees Award of Excellence. In addition, Northeast Community College was one of six colleges recognized by AACC in 2018 for outstanding student success for its five-year advising model that is transforming the College’s culture.

“I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to lead Northeast with a visionary board that has established a succinct mission and clear goals that has positioned the college well for years to come.” Chipps said.

“I have also had an exemplary senior leadership team and a college family who are laser-focused on making Northeast one of the premier community colleges in America. Together, we have accomplished so much and have impacted the lives of countless students.”

“With our Vision 2020 strategic plan at the forefront, Dr. Chipps is ensuring that Northeast Community College is strategically committed to its graduates in securing highly skilled jobs while addressing the workforce needs of northeast and north central Nebraska,” said Steven Anderson, Concord, chairperson of the board of governors. “His work each and every day is testament to that fact.”

Anderson said Chipps is 100-percent committed in seeing Northeast students succeed.

“Although they may not witness the work of its president every day, the students of Northeast Community College are the recipients of Dr. Chipps’ endeavors to improve their lives and the lives of their families and friends. He goes out of his way to speak with individual students to make them feel welcome and highly valued.”

During Chipps’ tenure several new programs have begun at Northeast. This includes diversified manufacturing technology, plumbing technology, precision agriculture, skilled and technical science education, banking services, media arts, exercise science and social work, among others.

A tradition of excellence in intercollegiate athletic programs for both men and women has existed for years at Northeast, but Chipps said it was important to offer new programs to provide student-athletes and the general student population opportunities to be engaged outside of the classroom.

The college has had long standing men’s and women’s basketball programs, but in 2013, men's golf and women’s volleyball were reinstated after a ten-year hiatus. In 2015, men's soccer and women's softball were added, followed by women's soccer and baseball in 2017. The newest teams, men’s and women’s rodeo, were established in 2018.

Chipps, who began in February 2012, is the eighth president of Northeast Community College and its predecessor institutions. Previous to leading Northeast, he served as president and chief executive officer of Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte and McCook. He also held several instructional, student services and administrative positions at Central Community College in Grand Island and Hastings.

Chipps holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Management of Colleges and Universities. He also earned a Master of Science in Counseling and a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Sociology and minor in Psychology both from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In addition, he served 21 years in the United States Army/Army Reserve and retired as a major in 1995. 

Chipps has served for a number of years on regional, national and international boards. Since 1994, he has been a higher education consultant for over 60 colleges and universities around the world and served as a team chair for accreditation visits for distinguished organizations such as the American Association of Community Colleges and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), to name a few.

For five years, Chipps served on the board of directors for the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics, which serves the global higher education community of more than 38 nations. He has made presentations in several countries, including Bahrain, Brazil and New Zealand.

Chipps has been recognized by several distinguished organizations, including the American Association of Community Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Nebraska Department of Education/Nebraska Career Education, the Nebraska Community College Association, and the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.

In 2015, he was selected by the Norfolk Daily News as one of three finalists for its inaugural Person of the Year Award. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Association of Community College Trustees Western Region Chief Executive Officer Award. The western region includes ten states and five Canadian provinces. Chipps also received the “Norfolk Oscar” from the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce in 2018.

Anderson said Chipps has moved the College to serve rural northeast and north central Nebraska by contributing to the economic development of its 20-county service area and beyond.

“Under Dr. Chipps’ leadership, Northeast Community College is not only positioning itself as a trailblazer both within the state and region, but also as a shining example of what rural community colleges nationwide can aspire to become,” he said.





Dr. Michael Chipps, president of Northeast Community College, speaks during an In-Service session to faculty and staff earlier this year. He announced Tuesday that he will retire as president of Northeast December 31, 2019.