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Co-Lin administrator prepares for retirement

Michael Tanner will soon relinquish his role as vice president of business affairs at Copiah-Lincoln Community College for a life of retirement. 

“After 38 years, I just figure it’s time,” Tanner said.

Current comptroller, Stan Patrick, will be promoted to vice president of business affairs.

Tanner was born and raised in Brookhaven. After high school, Tanner spent two years at Co-Lin before obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University. He then earned his master’s in Business Administration from Alcorn State University. From there Tanner began his time at Co-Lin as an entry-level accountant.

“I was fortunate to have an employment opportunity so close to the place I was born and raised,” Tanner said. “I married a local girl and had the opportunity to raise a family here.”

Tanner said the most challenging thing about the job was budgeting under the state of Mississippi’s budget rules, but he did it mostly because he was helping students. Tanner said he had a bad experience with registration when he was in college and wanted to make sure the process was as smooth as could be.

Tanner attributes his opportunity to join the Co-Lin staff to former business manager and his mentor, James Kyzar.

“He mentored me throughout the years and helped me so I could move into the position after him,” Tanner said. “I owe a lot to him.”

Tanner took over after Kyzar and became vice president of business affairs for Co-Lin in July 1998. In June of this year, Tanner will pass the baton to Patrick.

Patrick said he’s worked closely with Tanner during his 18 years at the college.

“Michael is a great person, very patient, very knowledgeable and very well respected in the community college community,” Patrick said. “He’s kept Co-Lin fiscally sound.”

Patrick sees his upcoming responsibilities as a challenge but is ready to embrace them.

“When you have someone who has done what he has done in the amount of time he’s been here, that’s a big hill to climb,” Patrick said. “I want to make sure I can do some of the same things.”

Tanner already held his vice president position when current Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles was hired.

“He was a tremendous resource,” Nettles said. “He’s very patient by nature. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him these past seven years.”

He said what he’ll miss the most are the relationships he’s formed with his coworkers.

“Especially the cafeteria staff,” Tanner said. “They kept me fed well.”

Tanner said he’s looking forward to spending time with his three children and four grandchildren with another grandchild on the way.

He thanked the Co-Lin community for the opportunity.

“It’s been a rewarding experience,” he said.