NIC officials tight-lipped after meeting with accreditors

North Idaho College officials are remaining mum as they await a decision from regional accreditors.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities’ decision is expected next month. On Friday, NIC President Nick Swayne, board chair Greg McKenzie and several college officials met in Seattle with NWCCU officials to discuss the college’s fate, Kaye Thornbrugh of the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.

Swayne declined to comment after the hearing, and trustees did not respond to a request for comment, Thornbrugh reported.

The accreditation decision carries far-ranging implications for the embattled community college. If NIC loses its accreditation, students would be ineligible for financial aid, and would not be able to transfer their credits to another school.

Several recurring issues — including administrative churn and turmoil on the board — have landed NIC on accreditors’ radar.

Attorney search hits a deadlock

NIC’s continued search for a new attorney has left trustees at odds — again.

Trustees are looking at two options: Stevens Clay, a Spokane, Wash.-based firm; and Sandpoint attorney D. Colton Boyles.

Trustees were deadlocked on the question during a June 9 board meeting, Thornbrugh reported. Supporters of Stevens Clay, including Swayne, cited the firm’s extensive experience in education law, while saying Boyles has no experience in the arena.

Boyles has something of a profile in Republican Party circles; he represented then-Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in a public records dispute with media groups, including Idaho Education News, and briefly was an announced GOP candidate in the 2022 attorney general’s race. He also pleaded guilty in November to a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge, Thornbrugh reported.

Trustees are shopping for a new attorney after Coeur d’Alene attorney Art Macomber abruptly stepped aside, effective Aug. 15.

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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