The “Friends of NIC” Plan to Dismantle the College

The “Friends of NIC” Plan to Dismantle the College



By North Idaho Slow Growth Research


There is a plan in place to dismantle NIC as a locally governed college community college and put its property under control of the University of Idaho.  But instead of exposing this scheme as a cynical power play by the Idaho State Board of Education (ISBE) in order to snuff out local control of higher education, the lapdog media will present the takeover of NIC by an unelected state bureaucracy as a necessary means to “Save the College”, and “Protect Students”.


“I want to be clear that there are other options to protect NIC if that (loss of accreditation) happens. . . . . .  I’m not saying it will ever happen, but if it did, the state does have the option of placing NIC under the University of Idaho.”  —Tony Stewart,  KCTFHR,  from Accreditation Dissection, Nov 2021.   Note: Tony Stewart authored the complaint to NWCCU that led to the accreditation crisis.


“The root of the problem is that the elected people don’t have the best interests [of NIC] in mind. I think ISBE needs take a very active role in correcting this issue and do whatever they can to fix this.” Steve Widmyer, CDA Mayor, Fort Ground Grill owner, from State Issues NIC Warning, Dec 2021.


“In a worst-case scenario . . . and North Idaho College does lose its accreditation, what I will commit to you is that this State Board is going to . . . ensure that there are off-ramps to other higher education institutions and that students have a seamless path forward . . ..” Kurt LiebichISBE President, Statement on the NIC accreditation concerns, Dec 22, 2022.  




It’s not too late to resolve the ongoing FAKE “accreditation crisis” of course.   The NIC Board of Trustees can still patch things up by unconditional surrender to the outraged mob of limousine-liberals who are conniving with NWCCU to make the college ungovernable.  If the trustees promise to drop all attempts to govern NIC by conservative principles, and reinstate President Swayne so he can run the college as Idaho’s “Higher Education” cartel sees fit,  NIC may be allowed to exist for a few more years as a “locally governed” college.


But the nagging problem of non-compliant board members will remain.   As long as it is possible that an elected board of Trustees could appoint an independent President, the “stakeholders” power over NIC will never be secure.   So it’s only a matter of time.   One way or another, North Idaho College needs to be taken out of the hands of locally elected representatives and put safely into the hands of appointed bureaucrats from Boise.


There is a precedent for this.   From 1934 until 1963, Boise State University was Boise Junior College and it had its own Board of Trustees.   In 1963, Idaho Statutes were revised to put all State sponsored colleges under a single governing board, now known as ISBE.  ISBE has enormous influence over all forms of public education in Idaho and seven of eight members are appointed, rather than elected.


Last May this unelected board conspired with “Friends of NIC” to appoint three compliant trustees,  who in turn selected Rotarian-RINO Nick Swayne to govern NIC.   And the current conflict at NIC all hinges on this exact question :   Should NIC be governed by a President who is accountable to the people of Kootenai County, or by one that is entirely  indebted to an unelected cartel of Educrats, Investors, and Crony-Capitalists.   It is obvious where ISBE stands on the matter.




By now it is clear to most observers that the NWCCU accreditation fiasco is an intentionally created crisis that is being used to bully the NIC Trustees into compliance with the demands of the Idaho Education cartel.  And their main demand is that Nick Swayne, the “establishment’s” choice for President be reinstated with full authority.  Don’t be distracted by other issues such as “academic freedom” or “civil rights violations”; Power is everything!!!  The REAL conflict is 100% about who gets to appoint and oversee the office of NIC President.


For decades NWCCU has given NIC outstanding reviews, but it is now suddenly threatening to withdraw accreditation without any substantial basis.  The threat of loss of accreditation is being cynically used by nefarious conspirators to create the appearance of a governing crisis, so that ISBE can feign concern about the “leadership problems” at NIC  while they prepare to step in and RESCUE the college from its elected representatives.   They will say they have no choice:  “We have to provide NIC students with off-ramps to other higher education institutions . . .”.


But of course, ISBE has choices.   It is a powerful bureaucracy run by influential, well-connected “insiders” with ultimate control over all matters related to public education in Idaho.   It could “choose” to resolve the accreditation crisis at any time, since its leaders have enormous sway with the accreditation agencies, and  its statutes (33-107, 6-b)  allow it to “choose” what accreditation agency to recognize.   If ISBE was committed to respecting the rights of locally elected trustees, all difficulties could be worked out peaceably in no time.


But a peaceful resolution to the manufactured “accreditation crisis” is not what ISBE wants.    ISBE can only ride in on a white horse and RESCUE NIC by taking control of the college, if it is perceived to be “ungovernable” by the elected Trustees. Therefore MAXIMIZING CHAOS is the order of the day.    NWCCU, KCTFHR, and the “Friends of NIC” all have their marching orders and are playing their appointed roles.   The CDA Press their FAKE NEWS media cohorts are ringing alarm bells daily, laying all blame on the conservative trustees, and lauding the rioters,  who protest and interrupt every board meeting, and announce votes of “no confidence” at every opportunity.  Behold, a fabricated Media Circus with malevolent intent.



It is important to understand that the goal of the “Friends of NIC” is to create the impression that the elected Trustees are FAILING to govern NIC effectively, so that an EMERGENCY intervention is required.   The process of actually denying accreditation is time consuming, so other visible measures to undermine the authority of the Trustees may be needed.  More high-level resignations;  More lawsuits;  More votes of no confidence;  More withdrawn insurance policies;   More board meeting melees;  More frivolous complaints that NWCCU officials can pretend to take seriously.   The string pullers have many strings to pull and the Appearance of Chaos must be maintained.




In a previous article we inferred that a cabal of NIC Foundation “insiders” was running the college, and now we seem to be claiming that the Idaho State Board of Education is plotting to take control.   What is really going on here?   One needn’t look far.


Solid evidence that ISBE is closely affilated with the Crony Capitalists of the NIC Foundation can be found by reviewing the manner in which ISBE appointed Trustees  were selected to fill the seats of Barnes, Howard,  and Wood.   By April 26th, ISBE had received 37 applications for three open trustee positions and by May 3rd had narrowed the field down to eight “finalists”. Three days later, three new NIC trustees were appointed.


What criteria did ISBE use to select NIC Trustees?  It’s glaringly obvious Without considering any other factors, we simply identified candidates whose names were associated with local Rotary Clubs or related institutions.



It is abundantly clear that when screening applicants for the NIC Trustee position, the ISBE officers gave top priority to Rotarians and well-connected “insiders” over other potentially well-qualified applicants.   This demonstrates that loyalty to a cult of Rotarian-RINO “insiders” is, in fact, the first and most important qualification for being a member of an ISBE governing body.  And it explains, in turn,  why the last four Presidents of NIC as well as several other key administrators are Rotarians, or members of Rotarian affiliated boards.



All Kootenai Rotary clubs combined have only about 300-400 members (about 1 in 400 area residents), but they are extremely well represented on dozens of area boards and commissions  It is statistically impossible that such over-representation of Rotarians among Trustee finalists could be a coincidence, but it could be a criminal conspiracy.


This is outrageous.  It is a scandal, and there is no possible explanation other than collusion, cronyism, and cult-loyalty for this glaring example of flagrant favoritism.   Educational administration is an “Insiders” game in Idaho, and it is obviously controlled at the highest level by a powerful syndicate of people whose loyalty is directed to their own club, rather than the people of Idaho.




Finally, since ISBE seems to be actively involved in an attempted overthrow of NIC College, we need to ask, what exactly is the ISBE?   What are its responsiblities; how is it organized; and what are the qualifications needed to be appointed to the board?


According to Idaho Education Statute 33-1 the Responsibilities of ISBE include “supervision, governance, and control of all state educational institutions and public school systems.” So ISBE is ultimately in charge, not only of all 4-year state universities, but also of locally governed school districts and Community Colleges.   The fact that Idaho has a single Educational board to govern Kindergarden through Graduate study is unusual, but it is part of a growing trend of consolidation in education administration, called K-20.



Seven of the 7 ISBE Board Members are appointed directly by the Governor, and the 8th member is the Superindendent of Public Instruction, an elected position.  ISBE gives Idaho’s Governor an enormous amount of direct control over all state education institutions.   Why is this?  And how does a board of “part-time,” appointed regents supervise such a vast array of agencies?


Mostly by committee.  Each ISBE board member sits on several committees that cover every aspect of education and administration.   And each of these committes has subcommittes, and each of these subcommittees includes members from both inside and outside of government  who are themselves appointed by the ISBE Board.



In other words,  ISBE is a gigantic moshpit of unaccountable, inscrutable, lobbying opportunitieswith ultimate power over all education-related policy in Idaho.    It is a clearinghouse for education-related deal-making, policy-wonking, and backroom negotiations  run by a vast network of unelected “insiders” who make no bones about putting the interests of their cronies above the good of Idaho residents who actually depend on public education.




What, one wonders, would qualify one to be appointed to a board of directors with such vast powers?   The justification for having “appointed” rather than “elected” officials is that it assures that “qualified” people are in charge.   What, exactly, are the “qualifications” for being appointed to “serve” on ISBE?


Just what you’d expect.   Money and Connections, rather then professional experience in education.   Of the seven appointed ISBE Board Membersonly one is a professional educator.  The others are all well-connected investors, corporate CEOs, or politicians, whose entire experience in “Education” is serving on boards of Education-related foundations, and committees.


If you want to have a say in “education policy”, don’t be a teacher.   You will never make enough money to buy your way onto an education board on a teachers’s salary.


Normally, at this point, we would list a chart of the professional and civic associations of all the ISBE Board members,  but the ISBE website has already done this.  Also, it’s meaningless to focus too much on individuals, because the ISBE board is just the central shaft of a revolving door of insidious influence over Idaho Public Education.  You could send the whole board packing and it would reconstitute itself overnight in exactly the same manner.


To get an idea of what is really going on it may be more helpful to review some of the “education-related” organizations whose members are among those regularly appointed to manage education policy in Idaho.  Virtually ALL ISBE board member are involved in at least one of the following committees.  In the following list, we have linked to the “board members” page of each institutions.    If you click on these links, what do you see? All of the ususal suspects.   Bankers,  Investors, corporate officers, hospital administrators, foundation members, politicians, non-profit leaders, and occasionally an education administrator.  Corporate elites, almost all with a “globalist” mindset.  The swamp is deep.


Behold the Idaho State Education Cartel.  100% self-appointed “insiders.”  Only a few teachers in the whole confederacy.



In addition to these education-related committees,  all major educational institutions in Idaho have Foundations associated with them that operate on the same basis as the NIC Foundation.





Virtually all of the “ISBE-feeder” education-related boards and foundations listed above are essentially lobbying organizations, filled with well-connected “insiders” who “donated” their way onto a committee and have far more influence over Idaho schools than the tax-payers that support them.


We do not know if any of the current members of ISBE are actually Rotarians, but they certainly run in the same circles.  And in many cases, those circles involve sending their own children to private schools, private colleges, and private clubs while they preside over boards and committees dedicated to improving “Public Education.”


Kurt Liebich, for example, is currently the President of ISBE.  He headed the committe that selected the “appointed” NIC Trustees, and is actively involved in laying the groundwork for an NIC take-over.    But his daughter,  who attended an exclusive, private, “International” high school, recently received a Rotary Club Scholarship to attend an exclusive, private, “Ivy League” College.   As far as we can tell no member of Liebich’s family has EVER attended a public school of any kind.


Yet, Liebich presides over all PUBLIC Educational Institutions in Idaho.   Why?   He has no personal stake in the success of Idaho’s Public Schools.   And neither do his friends or associates.   So why are Liebich and his cronies spending their time hashing over dull minutiae of Public School administration, and plotting the takeover of NIC, instead of skiing in Davos?


It’s certainly not philanthropy.   It it power?  Or something worse.   Perhaps George Carlin best explained why globalist-elites are so obsessed with controlling Public Education in his sketch: It’s a BIG CLUB and You Ain’t in It.    It sounds like satire, but its not.


If Idahoans really want to “take back” public education from the Education Cartel that is destroying our communities, a good first start would be to dismantle the State Board of Education entirely, and make ALL Education Boards in the State, Including University regents, elected rather than appointed.    K-20 Educational tyranny must be stopped.  ISBE is a corrupt, elitist organization that serves no good purpose and should not exist.    


At NISGR we strive for accuracy and fairness in our reporting.  Therefore we welcome critical comments.  However, we ask that if there is something specific in the article that you disagree with, that you specify exactly what it is inaccurate so that we can make necessary corrections.  Thank you.