Sunday, March 26, 2023

MY TURN: State needs to step in at NIC

by ROGER WISE/Guest Opinion
| March 2, 2023 1:00 AM

North Idaho Dysfunctional Board Of Trustees — I have Zoomed in on the last two years of board meetings. Jan. 18 was a ray of sunshine, a glimmer of hope. What an outstanding group of students that spoke before the board, very intelligent and well-spoken pieces. Obviously, you will all do well in your chosen careers. I am extremely disappointed in the hiring of Interim President South and his bringing his team to NIC. You are the problem South, you and your team. The students do not want you and your team, the faculty and administration do not want you on campus. Your hiring only added to the problem of governance. Your wages for you and your team are an insult to the taxpayers of Kootenai County. You have maliciously caused further damage to our community college. You and your attorney are worse than bank robbers, at least with bank robbers, there is a chance the police will catch them and reclaim the money. You and your fellow board cronies are like drunken sailors coming to port, spending foolishly and as fast as you can.

South, your attorney Macomber, the three trustees should be thrown in jail for the millions of dollars you have stolen from NIC and the property owners of Kootenai County. The only issues the governing body has with NIC is the board, doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what to do. South said he wanted to bring the temperature down at NIC. His hiring has escalated the problems at NIC and will cause further damage at NIC. l) It is time for the State Board of Education and the governor to fix the problem — dismiss all board members. 2) Reinstate Dr. Swayne. 3) Fire the attorney, rehire Lyons until a legitimate process is run. 4) Dr. Swayne and his cabinet working with the State Board of Education to look at combining with the University of Idaho.

If you think this is the end of the trustees' incompetence, you are dreaming. Every election, we will be crossing our fingers. Politics has taken over NIC and it will never stop. We put our faith in the universities to educate, entrust them with the first two years of general studies and the vocational programs. It is time for all the schools on campus to combine their efforts and make education a great thing in the five northern counties. 5) Dr. Swayne and cabinet work with the other institutions and governor to fix the nursing issue and medical electives in the state. There should not be a quota on the number of applicants for any of these programs. Work together. Whatever funding it needs to be taken care of. The shortage of teachers working together with all the schools and the hospitals there is an answer. Open up programs, the shortage is now and is going to get worse.

The state has taken care of NIC twice now. They appointed three very well-respected trustees to save the college from any further embarrassment. Thank you very much. The state has funded the dual-credit program, which enables students to attend NIC. Rescue us a third time — get rid of the trash. Kudos to Mike Gridley, your comments at the board meeting were right on. Mr. Gookin, your Kootenai County rants are awesome. The only problem I have with them, I wish there were more and a few more game shows.

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Roger Wise is a 60-plus-year Coeur d'Alene resident.

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