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  • Writer's pictureErin B.

NIC Board Meeting Recap 1/18

The North Idaho College Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, January 18 went exactly as it should: uneventful, straight to the point, and not 3 hours long.

Here’s the details:

The meeting brought with it a packed house; there were so many people standing around the walls that they opened up an overflow room and anyone who didn’t have a seat in a chair were asked to go to the overflow room to watch the meeting.

As a reminder, here is the agenda.

The agenda topics should be noted because it was a point of contention during public comment.

Public Comment

No matter the opinions about the public comment policy, the official NIC policy states:

There were multiple public comments that were not allowed because they did not pertain to one of the three agenda items. There were multiple public comments that were cut off when it was realized that their public comments were, in fact, not about the agenda items as was originally thought. There were a few public comments that were cut off when the commenter went up just to deride the trustees. The 12 comments that were left were mostly about accreditation.

Constituent Reports

All of the constituent reports didn’t really have anything to report since everyone was on Christmas break and the Spring semester just started however the different groups demanded a response about their votes of no confidence – remember that those votes of no confidence were allegedly orchestrated by *alleged* fire-alarm puller Teresa Borrenpohl – who was suspiciously absent at this meeting.

President’s Report

As this is his second week on the job, this is the first time we see Dr. South in his presidential capacity at a board meeting. He notes the following:

  • Recommends a third-party liaison come in to “bring down the temp” of the school.

  • He finished up staff listening sessions this week and received a lot of good feedback and concerns.

  • South will be attending the Higher Ed Expo in Boise next week. He will also be presenting for NIC in front of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) for their annual college appropriations presentations.

  • From a budget perspective, Finance Director Sarah Garcia is not changing any budgets, adding or subtracting, but she is watching enrollment numbers.

  • Moody’s rating does not impact the operations of the college. Just if the college wants to ask the public for a bond to build another building. Then the public votes to decide if they want the college to go into debt to build a building and the Moody’s rating will affect the credit rating/interest for the college.

  • South asks for board volunteers to make sub-committee to look at all polices related to board member conduct and board development policies.

  • Wants to schedule board study sessions; there is one scheduled already next week in Boise regarding open meeting policies.

  • Steve Kurtz, Accreditation Liaison Officer, gave a presentation about the accreditation process. Key slides below with one major note: the college is accredited.

  • South emphasizes the seriousness of the accreditation so he has brought in a small team to work through the issues.

    • Peggy Bradford, Interim Provost

    • Debbie DiThomas, who will be “in a consulting role as Special Assistant to the President.”

    • James Forkum, Interim Dean of Student Life

President to Evaluate ASNIC Representation on Board of Trustees

  • Greg MacKenzie has seen some instances around the country where an ASNIC representative sits on the board as a non-voting member and thought this may be a way for the student body to have more collaboration with the board. The board voted for the president to evaluate whether this was possible at NIC.

Enrollment Update

  • Fall enrollment is down, again, adding to the 10 year enrollment downfall.

  • Dual enrollment is up although Career and Technical Education (CTE) is down. It’s hard to measure CTE because with country-wide worker shortages employers hiring right out of the CTE program, a lot of the time before the student finishes that CTE program.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45pm.


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