Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Support for fired president

| October 27, 2021 1:00 AM

Supporters of a former North Idaho College President will march in protest of his termination without cause at 3 p.m. today, starting at the campus parking lot A on the corner of Northwest Boulevard and Hubbard Avenue.

Former college president Rick MacLennan was terminated without cause on Sept. 22, with Trustees Todd Banducci, Michael Barnes and Greg McKenzie pushing the vote.

“I found (MacLennan) to be a man of deep integrity,” said former NIC professor Michelle Lippert. “Under his watch, the college was doing really well.”

Organizer of the march, 25-year-old NIC student Ciara Platt, said she felt it was time for the community to stand up in support of MacLennan and say enough to the extremism in the community that the three trustees are afflicted with.

“We're just trying to kind of bring insight to that because they're just damaging the reputation of the school,” Platt said. “It just impacts a lot of different things.”

Coeur d’Alene native and NIC alumnus Shawn Keenan said the actions of the three trustees are hurting the accreditation of the school.

The college accreditation is still under investigation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities through a complaint filed by the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations and the human rights task forces for Bonner, Boundary and Spokane counties.

“I think we need to have the community's attention on the college and the community needs to realize the very threat to NIC’s existence, which is happening right now,” Lippert said. “If they were to pull accreditation from the college that would be the end of the college.”

Lippert the money pumped into Kootenai County through NIC employees and students, growth of businesses, and more shows the huge impact the college has.

“NIC is a big economic force in Kootenai County and if it were to disappear, Kootenai County would be in a world of hurt,” Lippert said.

MacLennan filed a lawsuit against the college and three trustees who voted for his termination, including that he wanted to be reinstated.

After some changes to the original plan, the march will start at 3 p.m. on the corner of Northwest Boulevard and Hubbard Avenue and continue to the campus soccer field where Lippert, Keenan, and retired NIC professor Tim Christie will speak at 4 p.m.

The board of trustees meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the Edminster Student Union Building, Lake Coeur d’Alene Room, with an executive session scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

Banducci did not respond for comment.