‘Our community is great’: Wood resigns from Howard North Idaho College Board of Trustees

Ken Howard and Christy Wood, two members of the North Idaho College Board of Trustees, will resign next month.

Wood was first elected to the board in 2004, while Howard has served since 2010. In November 2020, the two often clashed with the majority of the board, which was headed by board chairperson Todd Banducci.

The board has been stuck with four members since January following the resignation of Michael Barnes, who resigned amid concerns about his eligibility for residency. Most recently, the board failed to approve a candidate to replace Barnes at a meeting on Wednesday.

The resignations of Wood and Howard will take effect on May 3. Banduchi and Trustee Greg McKenzie will be the only remaining members on their farewell board.

“We want to acknowledge our faculty, staff and administrators who worked tirelessly to continue to provide a quality education for our students while dealing with poor leadership from board members and current board chairs,” Wood and Howard wrote. “Our staff has worked tirelessly to focus on the college mission and put our students first.

“Our community deserves the best because we face so many challenges,” she continued.

When it arrived on Friday, Banduchi released a brief statement. He declined to comment further.

“The resignation of trustees Howard and Wood is a continuation of the college’s mission,” he said.

Wood and McKenzie did not request a comment.

The college said the board of trustees will drop a quorum after May 3.

Based on state law, the Idaho State Board of Education must appoint vacant Community College Trustee positions when the Board falls below a quorum.

“We believe they can fill these positions with individuals dedicated to the mission of providing quality, affordable and educating everyone,” Wood and Howard wrote.

Matt Freeman, executive director of the Idaho State Board of Education, said in a statement that the State Board will soon issue a notice seeking applications from each of the vacant NIC Trustee Zones.

Following the example of a search used to create the inaugural Board of Trustees at the College in Eastern Idaho in 2017, an Ad-hoc Committee of State Board of Education members will evaluate and make recommendations to the entire Board on the way to appointment.

The appointed trustees will serve until the next trustee election in November, Freeman said. Despite the resignations of Wood and Howard, all three trustees are ready for election in November.

While the State Board of Education is filling all three positions, it is unclear whether state officials will call for applications to fill Barnes’ vacancy in NIC’s Zone 5 Board District. A search in February found the college had received 11 applications for the job.

In a statement to the NIC community, interim president Michael Sebali said he intends to work with trustees and the state Board of Education on the next steps.

This was clearly unexpected, Sebali said. “We will find a way to thank and honor our long-term trustees at a future date.”

Her resignation comes at a time of turmoil for the NIC.

The North West Commission on Colleges and Universities has been reviewing the accreditation status of colleges accredited by the NIC since 1950. The commission warned the NIC that some eligibility issues should be resolved by next year based on complaints focused on the conduct of the Board of Trustees. The bandoochi itself.

Meanwhile, the college is also navigating searches for key executive leadership positions, including the full-time replacement of former president Rick McLaughlin, who was fired from the board in September. The COVID-19 mask instituted by McLennan was ousted a month after the majority was abolished by the Mandate Board – a mandate backed by Wood and Howard.

In a joint resignation letter to spokesman-review, Wood and Howard cited the board’s majority decision to expel McLennan, which led to a settlement of about $ 500,000 on issues that led to their resignation.

Some of the senior college leaders who left quoted how the board’s actions affected their resignation, while the vote of no confidence in Banduchi and the call to resign from the faculty and staff were “ignored” as Wood and Howard put it.

At a board meeting on March 23, Banduchi said he had no intention of resigning.

Howard, 78, said in an interview that his resignation with Woods was “the only alternative we have left to wait until next November” in light of the board’s 2-2 stalemate. He said he had considered the option for some time before Wednesday’s meeting.

Although Howard believes in the state board’s ability to find what he calls new, “dedicated” trustees, he said this was because there were no other alternatives to wait until November. He said there would be obstacles in the way of waiting, presidential search, tuition, budget issues and choosing another trustee.

“It simply came to our notice then. NIC deserves better than that, ”he said. “Not all delays are healthy. They are not healthy because it affects the morale of the faculty, staff and students who do not know what is going on and such things.

After serving as a trustee for more than a decade, Howard said he could not avoid any involvement in the NIC community.

While it is unclear what that partnership will look like, Howard said he does not expect to run again as a trustee, although he has not ruled it out entirely.

“Trustees are now a level of dysfunctional leadership. The rest of the colleges are doing very well and the leadership should be commended for their efforts when they are in such a mess, ”Howard said. “It affects society’s view of what NIC is, and they suffer from it, but they do not.”

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