Accreditors plan NIC site visit next week

(UPDATED, 9:37 a.m. Friday, with details about the site visit.)

Regional accreditors will be back on the North Idaho College campus next week.

The site visit, scheduled for Sunday through Wednesday, will include visits with staff and individual meetings with trustees, KREM TV in Spokane, Wash., reported Wednesday.

NIC trustees and accreditors will meet in a closed-door session Monday morning, the college said in a Thursday news release.

The visit comes as the Coeur d’Alene-based community college continues to operate with its accreditation in jeopardy — a decision that could affect students’ access to financial aid, and their ability to transfer credits to another college.

In July, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities extended NIC’s accreditation for up to 12 months. But this decision does not take NIC off the hook, since the college still must make a case for remaining accredited.

NWCCU has cited myriad concerns with the college, including high staff turnover and political dysfunction. Amidst the turnover, campus groups have passed numerous statements of no confidence, directed at trustees.

At Wednesday’s board meeting, trustees heard from NIC student body president Michael Habermann, who read a resolution spelling out steps the college must take before student government rescinds its vote of no confidence.

One to-do item involves patching up the working relationship with college President Nick Swayne.

“The board of trustees must work with the college president, and not against him, for the good of NIC,” Habermann said, according to KREM.

Trustees were originally scheduled to go behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss a personnel investigation. But on Wednesday afternoon, the board abruptly yanked the closed meeting from its agenda. (Details on the personnel investigation from the Coeur d’Alene Press.)

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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