/ Modified apr 4, 2024 4:30 p.m.

Cochise College President plans to retire in 2025

Dr. J.D. Rottweiler plans to depart after 15 years at the helm.

JD Rottweiler Dr. J.D. Rottweiler, President of Cochise College at the Sierra Vista Campus. April 2, 2024.
Summer Hom, AZPM News

College President Dr. J.D. Rottweiler plans to retire in March of 2025.

Rottweiler says there’s no reason for retiring that relates to the college, and says over his career, he’s tried to bring passion into everything he does

"And most days, I have that passion and that energy," Rottweiler told AZPM. "But there are some days where I find myself thinking ‘Do I really want to do this again?’ And the minute that you start having those thoughts, maybe it’s time to rethink your position, rethink the things you do.”

When it comes to why he made the public announcement about retiring next year, he says it's about timing.

“It just seems like the right time," Rottweiler said. "I mean, it is an early retirement, but 15 years and it will be close to 16 years when that time rolls around. It’s really a long time for one person to sit in the seat … I had a long-time career goal that I would be a president and then I’d return to the classroom. I’m not sure that’s probably in the works for me, but my wife and I have some desire to do some philanthropic work, some church mission work, perhaps teach overseas in third-world countries and other places.”

Rottweiler said as he looks at his tenure he is proud of the partnership with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Sierra Vista in the Southeast Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy, the college’s investment in the Downtown Center, and the Residential Construction Program.

"I think the relationship we had with Castle & Cooke and the county and the city in the development of one of our Residential Construction and trade programs where we’re now on our sixth home, where we will work with our students to build a project home but that has been in old Fry Town," said Rottweiler. "So, it’s kinda been a community renewal, community development process — just all of those win, win, win things that we can do in there from the development of new academic programming to really just trying to impact the future of our county and enhance the quality of life for our citizens in the communities that we serve.”

According to Cochise College Governing Board Trustee Jane Strain, the search for Rottweiler's successor will begin soon.

“So, generally, the process would be is after the board has accepted the letter, then there'll be a few moments to look at what approach we’ll look — that we’ll do," Strain said. "Either we’ll do the research and the work itself, or we’ll hire and there’s lots of companies in this business of conducting that search. So, I think that decision will be done pretty soon.”

She said the board was notified of Rottweiler's intention to retire in February.

"He presented that letter to us at the February meeting, which came as not a surprise, not a shock," Strain said. "Reasonably you would know that would be coming. He's been the president for Cochise Community College about 15 years, which is a very, very long tenure for that kind of job. And, he's been excellent at it for 15 years."

Rottweiler said he made a public announcement about his retirement at the March board meeting. While he anticipates retiring in March of 2025, he said he’s open to extending his service until a new president is onboard.

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