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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

North Idaho College board again delays action on president’s employment, contract

The North Idaho College campus is shown in this aerial view.   (Courtesy)

The North Idaho College board of trustees once again tabled action concerning President Rick MacLennan’s employment and contract during a special meeting Tuesday.

Trustee Ken Howard motioned to table agenda items for Tuesday’s session, which ran about 20 minutes. Trustee Greg McKenzie opposed the motion, while Trustee Michael Barnes abstained for undisclosed reasons. Board Chair Todd Banducci only needs to vote when there is a tie.

Howard’s motion, which was supported by Trustee Christie Wood, pushes the matters concerning MacLennan’s employment to Sept. 22, the board’s next scheduled meeting. He also worded it to prevent the board from holding a special meeting in the coming weeks to take action on those matters.

The move marks another delay by the board in considering whether to renew MacLennan’s contract. The board of trustees has reviewed, and renewed to date, the three-year pact on an annual basis since hiring MacLennan in 2016.

Trustees similarly tabled any action during their last meeting Thursday after failing to reach a supermajority to meet in executive session for an evaluation of MacLennan’s job performance.

“My actions, both at the last meeting and at this meeting, are to encourage a public dialogue where the public is able to listen to our discussions as much as possible and not to hide behind the rhetoric and an executive session,” Howard said.

Tuesday’s meeting did not have a public comment period.

Prior to the vote on Howard’s motion, Banducci moderated some discussion about the group possibly meeting next week.

“If what’s being proposed is going to happen, then we would need to wait at least a couple weeks, three weeks, to have the meeting,” Banducci said. “So, either we have to have that much length of time for one proposal, or we need to act tonight for the other proposal. We’ve got to have about a two-week period at least in between, which would actually put us really about to the 22nd without trying to force one right before that, potentially.”

As the vote neared, MacLennan asked Banducci and the board “what is going on this evening.”

Banducci did not respond, initially ignoring the president’s question. MacLennan pushed again.

“Not sure that your question is appropriate to be addressed at this time,” Banducci said. “I’m not even sure I understand the answer that you’re seeking with that question.”

Trustees did not immediately respond Tuesday evening to an email request for clarification about Banducci’s comment.