Dr. John Neibling, President of Clovis Community College since 2006, has announced his retirement as of August 1, 2011. Dr. Neibling previously served in a variety of teaching and administrative positions prior to becoming President at CCC, including 10 years as Vice President for Learning at San Juan College in Farmington, NM from 1991 to 2001. He came to CCC from Scottsdale Community College, where he had served as Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2001 to 2006. Upon his retirement, Dr. Neibling and his wife Karen plan to return to the Phoenix area to be near family members.
“The past four and a half years at CCC have been the most rewarding of my 38 years in higher education,” said Neibling. “CCC is a wonderful institution, and the faculty and staff are extraordinary.” Neibling also has extremely positive feelings about the community. “Clovis is the friendliest place we have ever lived. From Day 1, Karen and I have felt welcome. It will be difficult to leave.”
During Neibling’s time as President, the College has seen wide fluctuations in enrollment and a major decline in State funding support. “When I began as President, the College had just experienced the largest decline in enrollment in its history. That was June, 2006, and, a year earlier, the announcement to close Cannon Air Force Base had been made,” recalls Neibling. “Fortunately, by the time I arrived, the Air Force had made the decision to keep Cannon open.”
While the College has recovered almost all of the enrollment that it had lost before Neibling came to CCC, a declining economy has not allowed the State to restore that funding that the College lost when its enrollment was down. “While my experience at CCC has been very positive, the one negative has been the loss of State funding, first because of the enrollment decline and, later, because of declining State revenues,” said Neibling, reflecting on his time at the College. “While we have gained almost all of our enrollment back, the State just doesn’t have the money to fund our recent growth.”
In looking back on the past four and a half years, Neibling cites the construction of the Don and Gustenia Bonner Nursing Education Building and generous gifts from various community members as the highlights of his tenure as President at CCC. “People outside of Clovis don’t always realize what a special place Clovis really is,” remarked Neibling. “There is a spirit here that you don’t often find elsewhere.”
Leaving Clovis will be difficult for Neibling and his wife Karen, but they are looking forward to spending more time with family members, including their first grandchild, due in April. “Although we are looking forward to a new phase in our lives, Clovis will always be very special to us,” said Neibling.