Divided NIC board picks an acting president

North Idaho College has an acting president.

After — predictably enough — a typically split 3-2 trustee vote.

NIC’s board Wednesday night hired Greg South as acting president, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported Thursday morning. He will take the helm at the beleaguered Coeur d’Alene-based community college while President Nick Swayne is on paid administrative leave.

The hire comes as a regional review board is raising new questions about NIC’s accreditation status — in part because of leadership flux at the college. NIC must respond in writing to accreditors by Jan. 4.

The prevailing, Kootenai County Republican Central Committee-aligned majority of the NIC board — Chair Greg McKenzie and trustees Todd Banducci and Mike Waggoner — voted to hire South. They are the same trustees who voted to place Swayne on leave two weeks ago, saying the college should investigate a change made in Swayne’s contract in September.

“If you look at the accreditation requirements and recommendations, that is to have an active president at the helm, and that is the board’s main point of contact, main interface, only interface, and so this is the essential for NIC that we have a candidate for president as such,” McKenzie said Wednesday, according to the Press report.

Trustees Tarie Zimmerman and Brad Corkill opposed the hire, according to the Press. Corkill objected to the $235,000 annual salary offered to South, and Zimmerman said trustees should have considered several applicants.

“We already have a president, why are we hiring another one?” Corkill said, according to the Press.

Swayne was hired in June, at $230,000 per year.

South had served as NIC’s interim dean of instruction for several months in 2021, the Press reported.

Idaho EdNews has requested copies of South’s contract and resume or curriculum vitae.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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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