The North Idaho College board will meet this afternoon to take action on the president’s contract, the college said on Wednesday.
For months, the relationship between the board and Rick MacLennan, president of the community college in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, deteriorated. After the failed recall in February of Todd Banducci, chairman of the board, the directors and the chairman struggled to unite.
The trustees will have to decide today whether to renew MacLennan’s contract for another three years. During the public meeting, the directors will take a break for an executive session, in accordance with Idaho law, which allows private sessions “to review the assessment, discharge or discipline of, or hear complaints or charges against, a public official, employee, staff member or individual agent, or student of a public school ”, depending on the agenda of the meeting.
The board could offer to terminate MacLennan’s contract, although no one has said publicly whether the trustees intend to do so. MacLennan administrator and public supporter Christie Wood said she opposed the special meeting, called by Banducci and two other board members.
“I have no intention of seeking the impeachment of President MacLennan,” Wood said in an email. “He continues to do an outstanding job as president. “
Northern Idaho faculty and staff on Wednesday passed a joint resolution in favor of the president, which directly called on the board to renew MacLennan’s contract to prioritize “operational stability and campus morale ”.
“Dr. MacLennan is a champion of educational opportunities and an ambassador for entrepreneurship in northern Idaho,” the resolution states. “For the past eighteen months, he has led the campus community by reporting with success a number of challenges while maintaining our focus on educational excellence and student success. Under his leadership, NIC responded to COVID-19 with resilience and creativity, while continuing to provide students with educational opportunities safe and of high quality through a variety of teaching modalities. “
The resolution was passed unanimously among faculty and “overwhelmingly” among staff, said Molly Michaud, English teacher and chair of the Faculty Assembly.
Employees also spoke about the strained relationship between MacLennan and the board.
“The employees – both faculty and staff – hope that everyone can focus on providing our college community with high quality educational opportunities, a strong commitment to our mission, vision and values,” and our unwavering dedication to student success, ”the resolution said. “This is our first week of classes and we are happy to be back with our students and colleagues.
The board will also discuss North Idaho College’s recent mask tenure at Thursday’s meeting. MacLennan announced last week that students, employees and others must wear a multi-layered face covering at all times in college buildings when two or more people are present. The mandate will remain in place for at least two weeks.
“While not in the least desirable, we know from information provided by state and local health experts that wearing face coverings improves our chances of being able to stay open this day. fall, ”MacLennan wrote in his ad. “This is a change we are making in order to continue to provide students and community members with the best possible access to our programs and services. We remain committed to keeping these learning experiences as normal as possible for our students. “
The bitter relationship between Banducci and MacLennan came to light earlier this year, when Wood wrote a letter demanding Banducci’s resignation as chairman of the board. In the letter, she described Banducci’s alleged “physically threatening and verbally abusive behavior”, including a meeting in which Banducci pointed her finger at Wood and said: “I should take you outside right away and kick you. ass. The spokesperson-magazine reported.
Dozens of faculty members have supported Wood’s effort. So did MacLennan, who wrote to the board in January expressing concerns about Banducci’s “aggressive and intimidating behavior”. At the time, MacLennan described several of his own bad experiences with Banducci, including a case where Banducci allegedly disparaged MacLennan’s wife as a Hillary Clinton supporter and another when Banducci threatened to sack the president.
Banducci did not publicly address the allegations in a statement he released in January. Instead, he wrote in a Facebook post that “it’s unfortunate that Administrator Wood feels the need to continue his attack on me.” The spokesperson-magazine reported.
“It seems like this is a concerted effort to finally get rid of me because she doesn’t appreciate the questions I ask as I try to fulfill my role as chairman of the board,” Banducci wrote. “I and others hope to make a positive change at NIC while increasing transparency and community oversight. The key word is surveillance. Too often people forget that NIC works for the community, which I represent as a member of this board.
In a 3-2 vote, the board ultimately rejected a February resolution to remove Banducci.