MCC president is moving on up

Klippenstein takes top job at Mohave CC
Ashley Wise Star Staff Writer
Friday, May 31, 2019
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STAR PHOTO/Ashley Wise
Stacy Klippenstein, president at Miles Community College in Miles City, poses for a photo in his office during a recent interview. Klippenstein, the president at MCC for the past five years, has accepted a position as the president of Mohave Community College in Kingman, Arizona.

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During Stacy Klippenstein’s time as Miles Community College President the college was able to purchase the old armory. MCC transformed the building into the Workforce Readiness Center.

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Miles Community College was able to construct the Ag Advancement Center while Stacy Klippenstein served as MCC president. –The building has helped to expand the ag and equine programs.

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Stacy Klippenstein high fives the Miles Community College’s women’s basketball team during a tournament ranking watch party this spring.

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Miles Community College President Stacy Klippenstein, speaks at the Small Business Development Center opening. The SBDC is now housed within MCC.

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Stacy Klippenstein, Miles Community College president, served as moderator for the MCC Board of Trustees election open house this year.

After five years at Miles Community College, President Stacy Klippenstein is moving on. He will be moving to Kingman, Arizona to become the president of Mohave Community College. His last day is June 14 and he starts in Arizona on July 1.

The college has several locations in Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City and Colorado City.

“I’ve been sad but equally as excited for the new opportunity. Sad because I’m leaving an institution that I’ve enjoyed working at as well as the people, friends, colleagues I’ve been able to form those type of fun and good working relationships with. I will miss that and be sad,” Klippenstein said.

Leaving Montana is also a difficult thing to do, Klippenstein said. The state has been his home for the majority of the his life.

While Klippenstein is sad to be leaving he’s excited to start the “next chapter” of his life, one he hopes will be the last chapter of his career.

Klippenstein, 52, hails from Corvallis in the Western part of the state.

While at Eastern Montana College, now Montana State University-Billings, he met the love of his life, his wife Carrie.

Klippenstein earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from MSU-B; a master’s of education in student affairs administration from MSU-B; and a doctorate in higher education leadership from the Nova Southeastern University.

“Got married there. Got my master’s degree there. Worked there,” said Klippenstein.

After Billings, the couple migrated to Texas where he worked at Texas Tech.

“I will always be thankful for my time at Miles Community College ... ”
— Stacy Klippenstein Miles Community College President

Then it was on to Flagstaff, Arizona, central Washington and finally back to Billings.

Before coming to MCC he served as the vice chancellor at MSU-B.

In January 2014, Klippenstein and his wife made the move to Miles City. Klippenstein is the eighth president of the college, which opened in 1939.

According to Klippenstein, MCC is what attracted him to Miles City.

“It just seemed like ... it was a great fit for me and a great fit for MCC. It still kept me relatively close to Billings. And we really enjoyed the Miles City community as well. For me it was a no-brainer to look at coming this way,” Klippenstein said.

Klippenstein also really liked the multiple opportunities for the school to meet goal and become even better.

Those goals included increasing enrollment, stabilizing the budget and becoming relevant in the community and region.

Since being at MCC, Klippenstein has seen the school’s enrollment grow, the budget become stable and MCC becoming more and more relevant to the community and region.

“I’ve always seen two-year institutions in eastern Montana as the life blood. There is no university in eastern Montana. It’s us and Dawson (Community College in Glendive),” Klippenstein said.

According to Klippenstein, the greatest accomplishments that he was able to be a part of at MCC was the enrollment gain, and the construction of the Ag Advancement Center and establishment of the Workforce Readiness Center.

During his five years at MCC, Montana resident enrollment has increased 33 percent and the two new buildings have helped expand the campus along with the program’s associated with them.

Klippenstein chalks up those successes to a team effort from many people throughout MCC.

While in Miles City, Klippenstein has stayed busy with his work at the college along with serving on the Bucking Horse Sale Board, the Miles City Area Economic Development Council, the Miles City Club board, the Holy Rosary Hospital Board, the Miles City Area Chamber of Commerce Board and the Southeastern Montana Development Board.

In his free time he has enjoyed golfing, brewing beer, being with friends and traveling.

Klippenstein and his wife have two boys, one in Billings and the other on the east coast.

“His leadership has been at the forefront in implementing strategic planning and enrollment growth, in overseeing the construction of the Ag Advancement Center, in supporting and expanding our athletic programs, in empowering his staff and faculty,” Debbie Morford, chair of the MCC Board of Trustees, said in a news release.

Board member Sue Morlock echoed the sentiment during May’s board meeting.

“It’s just been fun having you here. It’s been a treat,” she said.

During his final board meeting, Klippenstein thanked the board for their support. “You have provided the direction for MCC and because of your commitment and dedication, MCC has become a great institution serving the southeast region of Montana. You care about student success and believe in the innovative spirit. You allowed MCC, and me, the opportunity to take risks and fail and were always supportive of perpetual motion,” Klippenstein said in his final president’s report. “I will always be thankful for my time at Miles Community College and working for each one of you.”

This won’t be the last the community sees of the Klippensteins. The couple plans to visit Miles City whenever they can.

According to Klippenstein, the best part of his time in Miles City has been the people.

(Contact Ashley Wise at or 406-234-0450.)