(Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)
That was the message of Mid-Plains Community College President Dr. Michael Chipps as he addressed faculty and staff at a campus meeting Tuesday at North Platte Community College.
Dr. Chipps submitted his resignation to the MPCC Board of Governors last week after he was offered the presidency position at Northeast Community College in Norfolk. He has served as president and chief executive officer of the college since May of 2003.
Members of the college's faculty returned to campus this week following their Winter Holiday Break. Many stepped forward to congratulate Dr. Chipps and wish him the best in his new position.
"Since I first came to MPCC I have wanted it to become a place to be reckoned with," Dr. Chipps told the group. "I'm grateful that I have played a role in taking the college to the next level and helped it to become a star institution."
According to Dr. Chipps, the MPCC Board of Governors will meet in the near future to discuss how they wish to pursue the hiring of a new president and how the college will operate during any interim period. He said his agreement with Northeast does not require him to assume his duties there until July 1.
"I could be here until June 30 or I could be out of here tomorrow. It's up to the Board at this point," he said.
Regardless of when he leaves or where his career may take him in the future, Dr. Chipps assured those gathered that he would continue to work on behalf of colleges that serve students in rural areas.
"I am always going to beat the drum for rural community colleges," he said. "That is something that will never change."