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Posts tagged: North Idaho College

NIC Trustees: No new taxes

COEUR d'ALENE - The North Idaho College Board of Trustees decided Tuesday on how to finance a new $15 million Career Technical Education facility without raising taxes.

After reviewing several potential options, the trustees decided to use $11.5 million of its capital reserve funding, $2.5 of the college's operating reserves and possibly another $1 million in revenue anticipation bonds at the end of construction.

“I think it is important that we send a pretty clear message through the news media that this is what this money was reserved for. This is what it's going to be spent for and there is no tax increase,” said Trustee Ron Nilson.

“We've done our fiduciary responsibility, which was to manage this account the way it was supposed to be managed,” he continued. “We don't want any misunderstanding that this is going to cost taxpayers money. This is exactly what this money was proposed for.”

Most of the trustees were concerned about tapping too deeply into the college's reserve funds while they are also looking to partner with University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College on a joint-use facility in the education corridor. Jeff Selle, Cda Press Full story.

What do you think of the trustees decision?

NIC News: Tuition up & a new BB coach

COEUR d'ALENE - North Idaho College trustees decided Wednesday to balance the college's budget for the next fiscal year by increasing tuition rather than levying more property taxes.

The trustees accepted the college administration's proposal to fill a budget shortfall of $352,182 for fiscal year 2015 by raising tuition by $2 per credit for Kootenai County students and $6 per credit for out-of-district students. Local students taking 12 credits will now pay $1,511 per semester, a 1.6 percent increase.

“We are still one of the lowest-cost colleges in the region, and in the state,” said NIC Controller Sarah Garcia, who presented the administration's budget recommendation to trustees. Maureen Dolan, CdA Press
  • The North Idaho College Athletics Department announced that Corey Symons has been named the head men’s basketball coach at North Idaho College. Symons replaces Jared Phay, who accepted the head coaching position at the College of Southern Idaho earlier this month. Symons has been the team’s assistant coach for 10 years and interim head coach since Phay’s departure. NIC Newsroom

NIC Trustees Vote For League Switch

They're going regional. North Idaho College trustees decided Thursday that for all sports except wrestling, the college will part ways with the National Junior College Athletics Association and realign itself with the Northwest Athletics Association of Community Colleges. The five-member board voted 3-1 in favor of moving forward with the conference change. Christie Wood cast the dissenting vote and Todd Banducci was present, but abstained. “I believe the process is severely flawed,” Wood said, during a discussion before the vote. President Joe Dunlap and Athletics Director Al Williams recommended to the board on Feb. 26 that the conference change was the best way the college could address a pending budget shortfall of $2.3 million/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Don Sausser (last night): I just left an NIC Trustees meeting that voted to demote athletics from the National Champion chasing NJCAA to the wanna bees NWAACC, a conference mostly consisting of Oregon and Washington. This action was disguised as a budget crisis but results from a new president flexing his Spokane CC roots to bring NIC down to their level. NIC's once proud tradition of athletic excellence has come to an end. Sad.

Question: What do you make of Trustee Wood's comment that the process in reaching this decision was “severely flawed”?

NIC Enrollment Drop Means Less $$$

North Idaho College’s declining enrollment is getting a lot of attention lately, and it will continue to as administrators and trustees seek to cut $2.3 million from next year’s budget. Enrollment declined by 11 percent this year and is expected to drop another 10 percent next year, and with fewer students come less tuition dollars, a source of revenue that represents more than a third of NIC’s current $44.8 million budget. NIC President Joe Dunlap and Athletics Director Al Williams pointed to the enrollment drop when they recently recommended that the college switch from a national athletics conference to a less costly regional community college sports association. The trustees will meet Thursday to decide whether to follow that recommendation, a move expected to chop an estimated $600,000 per year from the college budget. Department heads at the college are preparing their initial budget presentations now, said NIC spokesman Mark Browning/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Have you or a member of your family been served by North Idaho College?

NIC Trustees Seek To Define Tenure

The tenure process at North Idaho College underwent intense scrutiny Tuesday during a special meeting of the college's board of trustees. During the nearly two-hour workshop, the trustees heard from speakers they invited, including members of the community, the faculty and the college's administration. “I know this workshop that we planned has created a great deal of concern amongst the faculty, and that's quite understandable, quite frankly,” said board chair Ken Howard, before the meeting's conclusion. “This was an opportunity for this institution to tell the world what tenure is at NIC, not what they think it is someplace else or what they were told it was or what they imagined it might be, but what it is here at NIC,” Howard said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Gabe Green's Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Chairman Ken Howard introduces a speaker during a open forum workshop at North Idaho College)

  • DFO: Did Trustee Todd Banducci behave himself?

Question: How would you define “tenure”?

Sgt. Wood Explains Hearing Role

Sgt. Christie Wood (RE: Council 4-2 against guns-on-campus, bias bills): Yesterday I was called to speak to the Mayor and Council as an employee of the Police Department. I am the Law Enforcement liaison to the legislative committee that advises the Mayor and Council on pending legislation that could have potential impact on the City of CDA. I presented the views of the Chief of Police who does not support the guns on campus bill in its current form. As a practice when testifying before Mayor and Council our officers are in uniform as a show of respect. During the workshop I was asked by Councilman Gookin to provide my insight as a NIC Trustee. I shared with him the views of the Majority of the Board. The bottom line is everyone is having productive conversation about how to keep our campus safe. The NIC Trustees are exploring ideas and possible changes to our weapons policy. We hope to keep our policy decisions at a local level where we can best assess the safety practices of our campus. Full comment here.

Question: Do you have any problems with Sgt. Christie Wood being involved in the community, for a long time, as a Coeur d'Alene School Board member (past) and now as an NIC trustee and chairman of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations?

NIC Student Caught w/Gun, 75 Roundsun

 While Idaho lawmakers mull a bill to loosen gun bans on college campuses, a student was arrested today at North Idaho College for carrying a concealed handgun in a classroom. Another student told authorities the man was upset and using drugs, had purchased 75 hollow point rounds for the revolver, and had talked about not being afraid to die. Michael Rustin Dan, 34, of Rathdrum was taken into custody without incident shortly after 9 a.m. Coeur d’Alene Police charged Dan with unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia commonly used for methamphetamine. The man did not threaten employees or students, an NIC spokesman said. Campus security was notified that Dan was carrying a gun on campus in violation of college policy. Another student said he saw Dan in class last Thursday with the revolver holstered under his coat/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (SR file photo)


Fort Sherman Park To Be Cheamkwet

The name “Fort Sherman Park” will ride off into the sunset during the 80th anniversary celebration of North Idaho College, scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. The name will be replaced by the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe word for “headquarters”: Cheamkwet (Ch pronounced as in choo-choo and small “e” as in “Chem-kwet” … I think). Along with renaming the park (which serves as host site for Art on the Green), NIC will dedicate the historic Fort Sherman Powder Magazone and the NIC Veterans Memorial. You can read all about it below.

Question: Do you support the Fort Sherman Park name change?

NIC Shooting At Wrong Target

Backed by a majority of citizens serving on an ad-hoc committee, North Idaho College is prepared to ask its board of trustees to hire a consultant who could help chart a course for a proposed event center. Take a deep breath and look again at that long, awkward, nebulous sentence. It's an accurate reflection of the long, awkward, nebulous process that has brought us to this point in debating the merits and means of building a $15 million to $20 million event center in Coeur d'Alene. Problem is, we're debating the merits and means of the wrong thing. While an event center is a captivating topic, it isn't North Idaho College's highest capital priority/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Does the event center have too much opposition to move ahead?

Panel: Hire Pro For Event Center Plan

Item: Another step for event center: Committee: NIC should hire professional to iron out project details/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The ad hoc committee charged with exploring the feasibility of building a multi-million dollar event center in Coeur d'Alene for North Idaho College is recommending the college move forward on the project. The 17-member volunteer committee isn't recommending NIC build the arena quite yet, however. It's just saying enough merit is there for the college to hire a professional to hammer out the final details on what the potential project could look like.

Question: Do you support this recommendation by the ad hoc committee to hire a professional to hammer out details re: the proposed events center?

Parker Toyota Eyes Event Center Buy

One local businessman and sports fan is trying to buy a hunk of land that he would donate to North Idaho College for a proposed event center. Doug Parker, owner of Parker Toyota, said he has made an offer to Washington Trust Bank to purchase roughly 22 acres in west Riverstone so the college would have cost-free land for a proposed sport and event facility. “We're negotiating as we speak,” Parker told The Press this week, saying his offer began in “the 3 million dollar range.” It's “not concrete yet. We have actually made a couple of written offers and had them rejected, (but) we still have the potential of putting something together.” The land is in the process of being annexed into the city. It sits off Seltice Way, east of the U.S. Bank Call Center. About 7 acres of it sits on the bank of the Spokane River/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Gabe Green CdA Press photo: A dirt biker rides through a parcel of land off of Seltice Way in the West Riverstone area which Doug Parker, owner of Parker Toyota may be purchasing)

Question: If Doug Parker provided $3M-plus gift to North Idaho College for future event center at Riverstone, would you be more inclined to support the project?

Press: Deep Six Event Center

If Coeur d'Alene is ever going to have an event center, the time isn't now and Riverstone certainly isn't the place. This week, the city's urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., agreed to fund $10 million toward construction of a multi-purpose event center at Riverstone if North Idaho College, the primary beneficiary of the center, can raise an additional $5 million for the project. We're stunned that NIC would step so far outside its educational mission as a community college - and beyond the 17-acre corridor it purchased five years ago at a cost of $10 million - to prioritize this ill-conceived project and push it into hyperdrive. And we're disappointed that LCDC, perhaps in political panic mode, would even consider committing almost every future penny it could generate in the River District to such a risky venture/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that the Coeur d'Alene Press is so opposed to North Idaho College involvement in the proposed events center?

Event Center Challenge: Raise $5M

To build an event center in Riverstone, North Idaho College will have to break its fundraising record. The college's president thinks it can. Not only that, but he thinks NIC could secure the $5 million total in about a year. “I'm absolutely confident we can raise that,” NIC President Joe Dunlap told The Press Thursday. “I do have some commitments. I can't tell you who from or for how much, but we do have some commitments.” The $5 million would go to operational costs to run a multi-use event center in Riverstone off Seltice Way. On Wednesday, the city's urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., agreed to fund $10 million to help build the arena. But before the college can capitalize on LCDC's pledge, it would have to raise and spend $5 million on the project first - a college record/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Joe Dunlap)

Question: Do you think North Idaho College can raise $5M in private donations to match $10 from urban renewal, to build an Events Center?

NIC default rate exceeds graduation

COEUR d'ALENE - A new report shows that North Idaho College is among 265 higher education institutions nationwide with student loan default rates that exceed the schools' graduation rates. For fiscal year 2010, the national student loan default rate is 13.4 percent. The loan default rate at NIC for the same period is 19.6 percent. NIC's graduation rate, according to the report, is 19 percent.

College representatives say the recent years' economic downturn is to blame for the lower graduation rate, and say they are taking measures to reduce the loan default rate.

Graydon Stanley, the college's vice president of student services, said he expects that NIC won't remain on the list of schools noted in the report for long. Full story. Cda Press

 Did you take out student loans? How long did it take you to pay them back? 

The Dorm At NIC

Silent and empty,
with no one about;
somber and dark since
the students moved out.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

NIC Graduates Record Number

A record number of graduates participated in commencement ceremonies at North Idaho College today. About 400 to 500 students participated in the graduation ceremonies. Some 1,100 were eligible to do so. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

DFO: I'll be attending one graduation this summer — that of Amy Dearest, who will be receiving a master's degree in family counseling from Portland State. How about you?

Question: How many — and what kind — of graduations will you attend this summer?

NIC Debates Tech Ed Location

Item: The right site: NIC continues forums on where to build professional technical program facility/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: About 80 people from all walks of life attended North Idaho College's three-part forum on the expansion of its professional technical education program. Mark Browning, vice president of community relations and marketing, moderated the event and set the stage for what essentially became a community dialogue over the importance of where the facility is located, and how that will impact the students of those programs. Browning said the NIC Board of Trustees will eventually have to make a decision based primarily of the size of the facility, where it will be located and the skills that will be taught there.

Question: Where should North Idaho College locate an expanded professional education program — on the current campus in Coeur d'Alene or on the Rathdrum Prairie near the new KTEC?

PM (4.29.13): Chess Anyone?

North Idaho College student Georgia Eto, of Coeur d’Alene, dressed up as a mime and played chess at one of the two newly installed concrete chess tables in front of the Edminster Student Union Building Monday. Eto and other mimes/students filled the chess seats to demonstrate their use as Gustave Lester, a member of NIC’s student government, opened the tables at a dedication ceremony. The chess tables were Lester’s student government project. (NIC Press Room photo: Tom Greene)

Question: Do you play chess? Well?

NIC Seeks Event Center Funding

Now is the time to build an event center in Coeur d’Alene for sports, trade shows and community gatherings, North Idaho College officials told the city’s urban renewal agency Thursday. NIC, which would own and operate the building, anticipates asking for $10 million in urban renewal financing for the project, President Joe Dunlap said. Another $5 million would come from private fundraising, and the college would need an estimated $250,000 a year initially to cover operating expenses, Dunlap told the Lake City Development Corporation board. While enthusiastic about the potential for a sports and event center, NIC doesn’t have the money to make it a reality, emphasized Dunlap and Ken Howard, president of the college board of trustees/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Would you like to see an event center that's largely funded by urban renewal money?

NIC’s Wood Calls Foul On Meeting

Item: Trustee Christie Wood calls foul on NIC meeting/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene

More Info:  A North Idaho College trustee is questioning the legality of a board meeting held earlier this month, and is calling for a motion passed as a result of that meeting to be rescinded. Christie Wood has asked that the board members, when they meet next week, consider canceling the motion made by Ron Nilson and seconded by Todd Banducci. The item is on the agenda for the board's regular monthly meeting on Wednesday. “We often talk about being open and transparent and this was non-transparent,” Wood said. “There was no opportunity for the board to have input.

Question: Do you agree with the concerns raised by Trustee Wood?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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