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NIC trustees choose new president

Staff Writer | June 23, 2022 1:09 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — After a national search, the North Idaho College board of trustees have selected the institution’s 11th president.

Trustees voted 3-2 on Wednesday to offer the position to Dr. Nick Swayne and begin contract negotiations.

“North Idaho College plays a critical role in this community, and Dr. Swayne has the background and leadership skills needed to make sure NIC delivers for its students,” Board Chair David Wold said in a news release.

Swayne comes to North Idaho after serving as the executive director of 4-Virginia, a collaborative partnership between eight universities in the state of Virginia.

He is also the founder of a comprehensive academic innovation ecosystem at James Madison University.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho, a master’s in public administration from Northeastern University and a doctorate in postsecondary strategic leadership from James Madison University.

Swayne said he’s excited about the opportunity.

“During my recent visit to North Idaho College, I met several dedicated, honorable people in college leadership and on the faculty and staff, as well as students,” he said in a news release. “There are so many good things going on at the college and I’m looking forward to making sure the community knows that.”

Trustees Todd Banducci and Greg McKenzie voted against offering the job to Swayne.

The pair walked out of Swayne’s interview last week, though McKenzie later returned.

Banducci said Wednesday he was frustrated with the presidential search process and believes it has been rushed and “bastardized.”

“I have incredible contempt for this process,” he said.

Banducci did not attend two of the candidate interviews due to conflicting Air Force Reserves obligations and refused to finish a third interview.

McKenzie expressed concerns that trustees could not share confidential personnel information related to the search during the public meeting.

Trustees ought to discuss choosing a president in executive session, he said — an action that requires four votes.

Prior to the meeting, McKenzie and Banducci voted against entering executive session. That forced trustees to discuss the matter in public.

During his interview, Swayne emphasized the need to focus on student recruitment and retention.

Wold said he was impressed by the priorities Swayne outlined during his interview: students, faculty, staff, community.

“The man has the right priorities for this college,” Wold said.

Swayne’s start date has not yet been determined.

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