Ousted president sues NIC and three trustees

Barely a week after his firing, Rick MacLennan has sued North Idaho College.

MacLennan on Friday sued the Coeur d’Alene-based community college and NIC Board Chairman Todd Banducci, Vice Chairman Greg McKenzie and trustee Michael Barnes, Greg Mason of the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported.

Rick MacLennan

Banducci, McKenzie and Barnes are the three trustees who voted to fire MacLennan during a contentious Sept. 22 board meeting, which culminated in a 3-2 vote to end MacLennan’s five-year tenure as president.

MacLennan says in the lawsuit he was wrongfully fired, in retaliation for filing a complaint against Banducci in January, alleging aggressive, unprofessional and threatening conduct, Mason reported.

MacLennan is seeking his old job back, damages exceeding $10,000 and compensation for any lost salaries and benefits, Mason reported.

When trustees voted to fire MacLennan, college officials said they would dip into budget reserves to continue to pay his $222,000-a-year salary and benefits.

Trustees named NIC Vice President for Instruction Lita Burns acting president, and they have said they will launch two job searches: an in-house search for an interim president, and a national search for a permanent president, the Spokesman-Review has reported.

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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