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North Idaho College trustees reinstate Nick Swayne as president

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North Idaho College trustees, led by Chairman Greg McKenzie, held a special meeting on Monday evening to vote to reinstate the president they had put on administrative leave in December.

The board also agrees to put his interim successor, Greg South, on paid leave.

Nick Swayne has been reinstated as the president of North Idaho College.

The NIC Board of Trustees on Monday night voted to bring Swayne back after they had placed him on administrative leave in December. Swayne sued, claiming he was idled even though he’d done nothing wrong, and a district court judge agreed. Cynthia Meyer ruled on Friday that Swayne is the rightful head of the Coeur d’Alene community college and must be reinstated.

The leadership turmoil at NIC is part of the reason why the agency that oversees community colleges in the Northwest is considering whether to revoke the Coeur d'Alene college's accreditation.

The board also placed the man they’d chosen to replace Swayne, Greg South, on paid leave, something that didn’t sit right with Trustee Tarie Zimmerman.

“I don’t really understand why we’re putting him on paid administrative leave. I think we should actually terminate his contract. We have a president. We will, as soon as we follow the court’s order. We don’t need the services of Dr. South any longer," she said.

At that point, board chairman Greg McKenzie reminded her they had discussed the issue in executive session and asked if she wanted to go back into executive session. Zimmerman said she didn't see a need to do that. McKenzie immediately called for the question to vote on whether to move South to paid administrative leave.

Three of the five trustees voted to put South on paid leave. Zimmerman abstained. Trustee Brad Corkill voted against it.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.