Three of the five members of North Idaho College’s Board of Trustees were no-shows for a special meeting called Thursday to discuss ongoing litigation against college President Nick Swayne, whom the governing board placed on leave last year, only to have him reinstated by the courts.
With only two members of the elected board present, the meeting did not take place due to the lack of a quorum, The Coeur d’Alene Press reported. Tarie Zimmerman and Brad Corkill told the newspaper that they had called the meeting to discuss the litigation strategy as the board majority continues its effort to oust Swayne. Zimmerman and Corkill have sparred with other members over attempts to remove Swayne for reasons that the board has not fully divulged, referring largely to concerns about language in the president’s contract.
The three absent members—Greg McKenzie, Todd Banducci and Mike Waggoner—form a board majority that frequently votes together. The majority has driven decisions in recent months to push out Swayne and replace him with an interim at a higher salary and to hire a college attorney without a formal bid process, violating Idaho’s open meetings laws along the way. Governance issues have led to the loss of NIC’s insurance provider, a bond-ratings downgrade and prompted scrutiny from NIC’s accreditor, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Majority members continued their push to remove Swayne on Friday, asking a judge to overturn a decision earlier this month to reinstate the president. A decision will be rendered at a later time.
McKenzie, the board chair, did not respond to a request for comment from Inside Higher Ed.