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  • Writer's pictureErin B.

North Idaho College Special Meeting Recap 12/8/22

The North Idaho College Board of Trustees called a special meeting for last night; the meeting is an extension of Monday’s meeting; discussing further the provost hiring, security process, the cyber incident from October, and the board resolutions.

If you would like to see the live-Telegram play-by-play, here’s the link to follow along at the beginning of the meeting. I did make a highlight video after the meeting last night so if you would prefer to watch a 3-minute video instead, here you go.

The meeting started with an executive session; Tarie Zimmerman was asking why they needed executive session in the first place and after a bit of back and forth she finally decided that it as warranted. Brad Corkill was not in attendance but Zimmerman, McKenzie, Banducci, and Waggoner were there, along with Swayne and Art Macomber.

That executive session ended up being over three hours.

Finally after 10pm the board came back together in open meeting to discuss the rest of the agenda.

Provost Hiring

It was noted that the board had met with each of the provost finalists for about 15 minutes during the executive session.

Security Topics

Greg McKenzie stated that the board has been briefed on the security topics and are want to ensure that everyone on campus is safe.

Cyber incident

Greg McKenzie stated that the board has been briefed on the cyber incident from November and there’s more info to come later.

Board Resolutions

Reminder of the resolutions that passed at Monday's meeting: 2022-03 and 2022-04.

Zimmerman opens up the discussion stating that she believes they violated open meeting law and motions to allow other attorneys to apply. No one seconds.

Todd Banducci asks for permission for Art Macomber to speak; Macomber speaks on his law practice history and says he has been officially the NIC board attorney for 3 days. In those 3 days he has reached out to former attorney Marc Lyons to get the file on NIC. It is assumed that as the NIC attorney for 23 years, Marc Lyons has a big file on NIC, the status of the current lawsuits facing NIC, the status of the accreditation, any open issues, etc. Marc Lyons, according to Macomber, said that he did not have a file for NIC but that if Macomber ever had any questions he may reach out to Lyons.

Macomber proceeds to explain the term castling in chess: moving the castle in front of the king to protect it from harm. He likens the king in chess to President Swayne at NIC. Because Marc Lyons won’t give any information about what he has done re: accreditation, the legal advice he has given everyone, discussions he’s had with others about NIC, Macomber suggests they “castle” the president in the form of full administrative leave with pay until such time that Macomber, along with the board chair, can review what has previously been done so that nothing is out of place when they move forward.

The board voted to place President Swayne on full administrative leave without access to his NIC technology (phone, laptop/computer, etc.) until such time that Macomber and board chair McKenzie can review the legal status. (Erin’s note: would this have even been an issue if Marc Lyons had given the NIC files to Macomber? Is Lyon’s hiding something?)

Because NIC needs an interim president while Swayne is on administrative leave, the board voted to ask former Interim President Mike Sebaaly if he would be willing to come back temporarily until the Lyons/Swayne issue is cleared up. Sebaaly seems to be in Nebraska right now but is still getting paid by NIC through the end of the year, so it made sense to the board to see if he was available to start Monday, December 12, and have a temporary contract started if Sebaaly was open to the idea of coming back.

After the motion was made to reach out to Sebaaly, the agenda was done and meeting adjourned around 11:05pm.


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