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Regional News

Idaho Board of Education committee interviews NIC trustee candidates

Idaho Board of Education at NIC
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Idaho Board of Education members meeting Thursday in Coeur d'Alene.

A subset of the state board is in Coeur d'Alene to choose three people to fill vacant slots on the North Idaho College Board of Trustees.

The Idaho Board of Education began the process of replacing three of the five members of the North Idaho College Board of Trustees Thursday in Coeur d’Alene.

The college’s current board doesn’t have a quorum, so the task of filling the vacant seats falls to a state board led by Chairman Kurt Liebich.

“When a situation like this has occurred, and I don’t believe it’s ever occurred, but when a situation like this occurred, we are required, the state board, to fill those seats and that’s what we’re here to do today," he said.

Liebich and his colleagues interviewed eight candidates who were pulled from a pool of 37 applicants. They included former college administrators and school superintendents, a former state senator, a retired physician and a timber company owner.

There’s some urgency to the process because the NIC board currently has only two members and therefore can’t make important decisions needed to run the college.

“The risk here is that if you don’t put a board in place that can work on these things, that our accreditation is at risk. Accreditation is incredibly important because it’s accreditation that makes the degree worth the paper it’s printed on. It’s accreditation that makes our certificates valued to industry. It’s accreditation that allows our kids to have access to financial aid and to transfer their credits," Liebich said.

“We’re not here to usurp local control and autonomy of this board. The fact of the matter is the decisions we make here today and over the next two days on these three trustees will allow the board to function," he said.

The appointees will serve until November, when they’ll have a chance to run for full terms.

Friday at 1, the body is scheduled to reconvene at NIC to name the new trustees. They will join Todd Banducci and Greg McKenzie on the board.