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North Idaho College names five finalists vying for president’s job

UPDATED: Wed., June 1, 2022

The search for North Idaho College’s next president is down to five candidates.

The finalists named by the college Wednesday are Samuel “Todd” Brand, chief academic officer at Ashland Community and Technical College; Steve Condon, chancellor of Carolina University; Chad Crumbaker, provost and executive vice president for student affairs at West Virginia University-Parkersburg; Nick Swayne, executive director of 4-Virginia; and James Y. Taylor, senior associate vice president at Utah State University, according to an NIC news release.

The five were selected out of 59 applicants by the college’s Presidential Search Committee as finalists to replace Rick MacLennan, who was fired without cause last year by NIC’s Board of Trustees.

Interim President Mike Sebaaly, who has served in that capacity since November, neither confirmed nor denied that he applied for the job when reached for comment, instead saying he “will continue to respect the confidentiality of the presidential search process.”

“It’s been a privilege to serve as interim president,” Sebaaly, the college’s wrestling coach, said via email. “Our interim leadership team has done good work creating an environment that has integrated academic and student services to more effectively support our services. We’re expanding opportunities for all types of students, and I look forward to welcoming NIC’s new president and helping with a successful transition.”

The college’s Presidential Search Committee is made up of 27 members of the college community including former Board of Trustees Chair Todd Banducci as well as Trustee Pete Broschet, who was one of three individuals brought on by the Idaho State Board of Education to fill in vacant seats on the college board.

On the search committee, Broschet took the place of former Trustee Ken Howard, who – along with Christie Wood – resigned in May. Leadership turnover has been in focus at NIC over the past year and a half or so, particularly with the college’s accreditation eligibility in question.

Filling the president’s position was a recommendation prescribed by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities, the agency that accredits North Idaho College, in a letter warning NIC was out of compliance with certain accreditation eligibility standards.

Broschet and Banducci did not return requests for comment.

The presidential finalists are scheduled between June 9-16 to visit the Coeur d’Alene community college’s main campus, the Parker Technical Education Center and the Workforce Training Center to meet with members of the college community.

These visits will include one-hour open forums in the morning and afternoon that the public can attend in person in the Edminster Student Union Building’s Lake Coeur d’Alene Room or through Zoom.

Online surveys are available at NIC’s presidential search webpage to provide feedback on each of the candidates. The Pauly Group, the consulting firm hired to administrate the presidential search, will send this feedback to the NIC Board of Trustees prior to the board’s decision.

The survey deadline i June 20 at noon.

Here are some of the highlights about each of the finalists, according to candidate bios posted on NIC’s website:

Samuel “Todd” Brand

A native of Mendenhall, Mississippi, Brand has worked more than two decades in higher education, including the past three years as chief academic officer at Ashland Community and Technical College in Ashland, Kentucky.

His career experience includes more than a decade as division chair of fine arts and communication at Meridian Community College. Brand has a background in media, having worked in TV and radio after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a master’s degree in communication from Mississippi College.

He completed a doctoral program in community college leadership at Mississippi State University while working at Meridian Community College.

Steve Condon

Condon has served as chancellor of Carolina University since 2018. His career experience includes stints as president of John Wesley and Tennessee Wesleyan universities along with vice president and dean positions at a number of other institutions.

Condon was a coach for the Huntingdon College golf team in Alabama and led the squad to four NAIA national championships in the 1980s.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Boston State College and Florida State University, respectively; an educational specialist degree from the University of Alabama; a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Mississippi and completed postdoctoral study at Harvard University.

Chad Crumbaker

Prior to his current position as provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs at West Virginia University-Parkersburg, Crumbaker served as the school’s chair of the Business, Accounting and Public Service Division, and legal studies program coordinator. He remains an active legal studies teacher even as provost, having started at WVU as an adjunct faculty member before he was eventually brought on full time.

Crumbaker is a member of the Rotary Club of Parkersburg as well as the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley.

He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and earned his juris doctor from Capital University Law School. A licensed member of the West Virginia and Ohio state bars, Crumbaker previously worked as an attorney in private practice. He also has heating, ventilating, and cooling contractor’s licenses in West Virginia and Ohio.

Nick Swayne

Swayne is the executive director of 4-Virginia, a partnership of statewide universities centered on how the schools can work together through collaborative research projects, shared courses and improved access to college degrees. Swayne also is the founding director of the James Madison University X-Labs program.

A retired Army officer with 26 years of service, Swayne is a faculty mentor in the Stanford University Innovation Fellows program and was a founding member of the Stanford Faculty Innovation Fellows program. He boasts experience in developing co-curricular, transdisciplinary programs like X-Labs.

Swayne has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho, a master’s in public administration from Northeastern University and a doctorate in postsecondary strategic leadership from James Madison University. He is chair of the Harrisonburg City School Board, now in his fourth elected term.

James Y. Taylor

Taylor is a senior associate vice president for Utah State University and the chief campus administrator for multiple campuses and educational centers in Eastern Utah, according to his bio. He is also an associate sociology and anthropology professor.

His three decades of experience in higher education leadership includes a stint as dean and vice president for Colorado Mountain College.

Taylor earned his bachelor’s degree in biogeography from the University of Utah, a master’s in earth science from Montana State University and a doctorate in leadership and organizational development from Grand Canyon University.

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