Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 35° Cloudy

This column reflects the opinion of the writer. Learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column.

Opinion >  Guest Opinion

NIC trustees: No discussion of ending wrestling program

Ken Howard and Todd Banducci

The North Idaho College Board of Trustees does not routinely respond to articles in the press but we understand our athletic programs are very important to our community, as they are to us. We wish to clarify policy, and dispel recent falsehoods made about the college and our athletic programs.

The board fully supports the investigation into academic integrity violations as well as actions taken to address these violations. Decisions made thus far have been based on the results of the investigation. No other circumstances were involved. Academic integrity is the stalwart of educational institutions. This integrity ensures students obtain college credit for their efforts in their educational pursuits. NIC’s entire focus is educational opportunities for our students in safe learning environments. We have an exceptional accreditation status due largely to our policies and procedures of governance that support the academic success of our students and the high standard of ethics and integrity of our employees.

The board has a strong commitment to our student athletes, and we are proud of all of their accomplishments. At no time has there been any discussion of ending our championship wrestling program. Any such suggestion would need to come before the board of trustees. Last fall, in a public meeting, the board approved a community-wide study to determine the viability and interest in expanding our athletic offerings. In a survey offered to the public, two possible programs were specifically identified. The board has expressed interest in baseball and women’s wrestling. The results of the study will be presented to the board this spring. There have been no suggestions brought to the board of current athletic programs being eliminated in order to bring on new athletic opportunities.

NIC has a long history in this community of demonstrating strong support for human rights, civil rights, and dignity for all. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is a priority for the board and the administration. During its September 26, 2018, meeting, the board approved funds for a design concept for a new gymnasium, and over the course of the fall semester held public workshops that included discussions on the possible construction of a gymnasium. We anticipate many more public discussions on the viability of a new gymnasium, classrooms and athletic training space. It is important to the board to explore efforts to replace the current gymnasium that was built in 1949, and is not as ADA-compliant as we would like it to be.

The board is restricted by Idaho state law and board policy from discussing personnel matters publicly. If an employee who has been terminated consents, in writing, to allow the college to speak openly, we will always take that opportunity to share additional information with our community.

Maintaining a safe campus environment is essential to NIC. We encourage the reporting of any incident where there is a concern to student or employee safety. NIC is the only community college in the state with a full-time police officer on our main campus, due to our outstanding partnership with the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

We encourage our citizens to attend our board meetings and learn more about the numerous academic, athletic, career technical, workforce training and fine arts programs that are designed for the success of students in North Idaho, and ultimately the success of the communities we serve.

North Idaho College Board of Trustees: Christie Wood, board chair; Brad Murray, vice chair; Joe Dunlap, secretary/treasurer; Ken Howard, trustee; Todd Banducci, trustee.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.