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It's been an amazing journey

It's been an amazing journey

NORFOLK, NE - The legendary comedienne Carol Burnett would end her widely popular television show by imparting these enduring words, “I’m so glad we had this time together…” As I enter retirement and my work comes to a close at Northeast Community College, I would like to express the same sentiment as Ms. Burnett. It has been such a privilege and honor of serving as your president and ‘I am so glad we had this time together.’

My journey has taken me to many points around the globe, culminating with leading one of the finest rural community colleges in America. As I reflect on my 40-years in higher education, I have had many wonderful opportunities, but the best and highest point has been leading Northeast.

We give students of Northeast Community College ample opportunities to learn and grow, so when the time comes they, too, can enter the marketplace and become productive members of America’s workforce. And, as a fellow Nebraskan who has served 63 of the state’s 93 counties, it is my sincere hope that our graduates return to their Nebraska roots to live, work and lead rural communities.

For approximately 50 years, Northeast Community College has been built upon the shoulders of giants; people who have set the foundation for what a community college should look like. Because of these visionaries, Northeast is able to offer a full college experience. Therefore, it is not an alternate choice, but the choice for people of all ages.

Northeast Community College has been designed to take anyone from anywhere and allow students to become whatever they desire without major college debt. Northeast is passionate about student success by focusing on obtaining employment through high wage, high skill and high demand jobs or ensuring that students are able to transfer to senior institutions and successfully compete in that educational marketplace, as well.   

While serving as president, Northeast has come together to accomplish many major goals. One of the initial key elements was the establishment, alignment, and execution of the mission and Vision 2020 comprehensive plan. Through Vision 2020, Northeast continues to empower our work to better address the ever-increasing workforce demand.

Other highlights that I was proud to have been part of include signing partnership agreements with other colleges and universities; the establishment of a new extended campus in O’Neill; the opening of the new Donald E. Nielsen Career and Technical Education Center in West Point; numerous additions and improvements to the Norfolk campus; the establishment and development of the Center for Global Engagement; the establishment of the new Center for Enterprise; and Northeast being named as one of America’s Top 10 community colleges by the Aspen Institute.

It has been an amazing and life changing journey for me. I have done what I had come to do. Northeast is positioned to address the 21st century technical and transfer needs of all people, no matter the zip code, no matter the country, and no matter the ability. It is the place to find yourself and to make for a better tomorrow. 

Thank you all again for the opportunity to serve Northeast Community College, the board of governors, and the college family! May God go with you all!


Michael R. Chipps, Ph. D.
Northeast Community College




PHOTO ID: Dr. Michael R. Chipps.