Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Trustees delay presidential search

by HANNAH NEFF/Staff Writer
| November 16, 2021 1:08 AM

The interim might be warming the president’s seat longer than expected.

After shooting down two motions for a selection of a presidential search firm, the North Idaho College board of trustees tabled the item for a special session to be conducted before the end of the year at the board meeting Monday evening.

“I'm not prepared to select a company at all tonight, but I think we have a bigger issue,” Board Chair Todd Banducci said. “Honestly, I think this is the timing of it.”

Banducci said he didn’t think it would be wise to switch the presidency to a new person with no prior experience with the board and college shortly after giving the ad-hoc report due Aug. 1 to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

NIC’s accreditation is under review by the NWCCU after a complaint filed by the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations and the human rights task forces for Bonner, Boundary and Spokane counties on March 12. The report will focus on the college’s governance and administration leadership.

Trustee Ken Howard opposed the delay while trustee Christie Wood said she was only for it as the motion set a deadline for the process to take place.

Trustee Greg McKenzie said it’s become a trend to keep an interim president between one to three years and would like to see NIC follow suit as he was in agreement with Banducci on the timing of the presidential switch.

Wood said she thought delaying the process any longer was outrageous, and would only cause more issues for the college.

The item was delayed at the last meeting as Banducci and trustee Michael Barnes said they had not had the opportunity to look closely at proposals received from various firms and would like more time to review.

Wood reminded the board of its signed resolution for appointing Vice President of Instruction Lita Burns as acting president which included the board would immediately request the college to engage in the search process for a new president.

As far as the search committee, the trustees appointed Banducci and Howard to be co-chairs in the process.

They also adopted the trustee zone map and heard comments from the public, something that’s been off the agenda since the start of the school year.

During public comment, Deborah Rose, a Kootenai County resident, said Barnes is not qualified to hold his position of trustee as he no longer resides in Zone 5, and is disqualified according to Idaho Statute 59-901.

“Being in violation of Idaho law by remaining on the NIC board of trustees creates reason to question whether Mr. Barnes' votes have been legal and valid,” Rose said.

Barnes has not responded to The Press for comment.