NECC Welcomes Presidential Candidate Chipps

Dr. Chipps presents himself for the students and faculty of NECC at the open forum

Janelle Gerharter

Dr. Chipps presents himself for the students and faculty of NECC at the open forum

Ryan Forth, Editor-in-Chief

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Dr. Chipps is a self-described utility man with a passion for community colleges that has not subsided after 32 years in the business. His opening statement was the one that he thought should be said first, “I am not Dr. Path.”

When initially pursuing the position, he said that he is a “difference maker” and wasn’t quite sure about what to change about NECC. After further perusal and contact, he came up with a few areas that he could improve, if not completely overhaul for the better.

The first of these areas was to work on NECC’s extended campuses, most specifically the campus in O’Neill, which requires a fair bit of work. After that, he said that revenue sources would be a problem no matter where he was, and that he has a variety of experiences from Mid-Plains Community College regarding finding revenue for projects.

After these, he made a point to address the enrollment of NECC, and that it has been dropping slightly in the last couple of years. That said, he said that things eventually always circle back to high school students, and that he plans to spend a great deal of time cultivating relationships with high schools to get that enrollment back up. He also said that the biggest thing is just to be around people to get them interested.

During his open Q & A session, he was asked about Technology and Student Life. To the first, he said that it is very important to advance, and not just for the sake of change. As such, he didn’t know what needed to be changed yet, both because of the new Vice-President of Technology that has yet to take up office, and because he plans to spend the first little part of his possible presidency listening very hard to what everyone at NECC has to say. On the second, the specific question was about the non-existence of college life on weekends, and he responded that for anything to change, both students and staff have to be available and want the change and want to be involved.

He was also asked what his experiences in the military had given him that might be useful for the job and he had two main points to answer that with. The first was that he learned the value of true teamwork to accomplish goals, and that he learned the value of giving praise for a job well done, and that those both helped garner greater results than without.

Dr. Chipps made the express point throughout his presentation about being a “difference maker.” And that he didn’t have much more than a strategy plan for his first couple of years should he get the position. He plans to spend the majority of his first 90 days in office listening and creating ways to deal with the college’s current problems instead of expanding. His other major comment was, “If you are looking for a Dr. Path Jr., then I am not him.”

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