NIC trustees complete presidential interviews — but not without rancor

North Idaho College trustees have finished interviewing candidates for the presidential vacancy.

It’s not immediately clear when trustees will select a new president, but the board is scheduled to meet next on Wednesday.

The presidential search is just one flashpoint at the troubled, Coeur d’Alene-based community college — which has been beset by declining enrollment, an exodus of top administrators and questions about its accreditation.

The board’s interview process ended Thursday. And as has been typical of recent NIC trustee meetings, these interviews were sometimes rancorous.

During previous interviews, Trustee Greg McKenzie shouted at his fellow trustees, Kaye Thornbrugh of the Coeur d’Alene Press reported. McKenzie said little during Thursday’s final interview, Thornbrugh reported, leaving the questioning to newly appointed trustees David Wold, John Goedde and Pete Broschet.

Trustee Todd Banducci missed two of the finalists’ interviews, including Thursday’s session, due to Air Force Reserves commitments, Thornbrugh reported.

Four external, out-of-state candidates are vying for the president’s opening: Samuel “Todd” Brand, chief academic officer at Ashland Community & Technical College in Ashland, Ky.; James Y. Taylor, senior associate vice president at Utah State University in Vernal, Utah; Nick Swayne, executive director of 4-Virginia in Harrisonburg, Va.; and Chad Crumbaker, provost and executive vice president for student affairs at West Virginia University-Parkersburg in Parkersburg, W. Va.

A fifth finalist pulled out of the running.

The new president will take over for interim President Michael Sebaaly, NIC’s wrestling coach, who was promoted in October on a split board vote. The divided board fired President Rick MacLennan in September, without explanation.

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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