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The divided NIC council elects a new president

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Northern Idaho College has a new president – his third in nine months.

And, as with most things at NIC, it wasn’t easy.

The divided board of trustees on Wednesday called Nick Swain the new president of the college. The date of its beginning is unclear. Proxies and Swain will work for the next few weeks to complete his contract.

When Swain comes on board, he will take the helm a public college that suffers from problems. In addition to the upheavals as president, the College of Coeur d’Alene has left several top administrators. NIC accreditation is under threat as the regional group has recommended trustees to abandon clashes and address staff turnover. Dysfunction also threatens to affect enrollment and charity.

Swain is the CEO of 4-Virginia, a joint organization involving eight state universities. He received a bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University, a master’s degree in public administration from Northeastern University, and a doctorate in strategic leadership after high school from James Madison University.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for me,” Swain said news release on Wednesday night. “During my recent visit to Northern Idaho College, I met several dedicated, honorable people in college leadership, faculty and staff, and students. There are so many good things going on in college, and I’m looking forward to society learning about it. ”

“Northern Idaho College plays an important role in this community, and Dr. Swain has the experience and leadership skills needed to make sure NIC works for its students,” Chairman of the Board David Wald said in the same college news release.

But Wednesday’s trustee meeting didn’t go as smoothly as it did This was announced by Spokane Review spokesman.

Proxies Todd Banducci and Greg Mackenzie criticized the process that led to Wednesday’s vote, blocked a discussion of the president’s vacancy in a closed executive session, and unsuccessfully nominated another finalist: Samuel “Todd” Brenda, chief research fellow at Ashland Community and Tech. .

That proposal failed, and Swain was hired with a 3-2 vote, through objections from Banducci and Mackenzie. In the end, three votes for Swain came from the trustees The State Board of Education is appointed in May: Wold, John Goedde and Pete Broschet.

Turnover as NIC president began in September when trustees voted 3-2 for the dismissal of Rick McLennan, without explanation. Banduchi, Mackenzie and then-trustee Michael Barnes supported McLennan’s dismissal.

A month later, Banducci, Mackenzie and Barnes voted to promote wrestling coach Michael Sebaali to interim president.

On Wednesday, Mackenzie spoke in favor of following the caretaker president, as three trustees filled by State Council nominees would be selected in the November election.

“The last thing I think this college needs now is for the new permanent president to come in with a 3-2 vote and just add more opposition to this whole scenario we’re in,” Mackenzie said, according to a spokesman. . Review.

Gedde – who, like Wald, said he would not run in the November election – sought to hire Swain.

“This council may be out of order in November after the election, and I think it has the capacity to deal with it,” Gede said, according to a spokesman.

Kevin Richard

About Kevin Richard

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education policy and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; Idaho Reports on Idaho Public Television; and “Idaho Matters” on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. You can contact him at [email protected]

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