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NMC president to retire after nearly two decades

NMC President Tim Nelson to retire after nearly two decades.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- The leader of northern Michigan’s largest community college is retiring after nearly two decades.

Northwestern Michigan College President Timothy Nelson made the announcement during an employee meeting Thursday.

“It’s time for the college and it’s time for me,” said Nelson.

Half of his career has been at the institution, with 18 years as president.

He’s not leaving until December of 2019, but says the toughest part of this decision is thinking about what his life will look like not being there.

“There’s no lame duck for me,” said Nelson. “The next 14 months we will continue to work and go forward, and as the board and community go through selecting the next president, I will be there to both do my job and help in whatever way I can but not get in the way of that.”

During his tenure, Nelson helped rebuild the entire infrastructure at the college, expand campus, invest in professional development and create programs that don’t exist anywhere else.

“20 years ago, people would say that’s not what community colleges do,” said Nelson. “But that’s what NMC has done and I’m sure that they’ll continue.”

While he says there are still several things in play at the college such as the new innovation center he’d like to see through, but he plans to remain connected.

But as for what his specific plans are once he retires.

“I know I have to clean my garage,” said Nelson.

He says he is thankful for all the faculty and staff, the board and volunteers that have worked to make the college such a vital part of the community.

“It’s been a privilege to be here and have this be part of my journey,” said Nelson. “I’m sure that the college will continue to keep learning at the center of everything we do, and look for ways to benefit the community.”

The NMC Board of Trustees will begin discussing the process of finding the next president at their coming meetings, saying they want this to be a very open process with a lot of community involvement.

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