The NIC Accreditation Crisis Explained

The NIC Accreditation Crisis Explained



By North Idaho Slow Growth Research


You have probably heard of the accreditation problems at NIC and of the hysterical outrage directed against the new board of Trustees.   But what is behind all the drama?  How can a college lose “accreditation” just because someone doesn’t like the new trustees?     What is really at stake?


Much of the story remains hidden.   The mainstream media contantly vilifies the current NIC leadership, but what you will never learn from official sources is:


  1. How a corrupt cabal of crony capitalists has been governing NIC for decades;
  2. How the new board threatens their influence, and
  3. How the cabal will stop at nothing, up to and including destroying the college, to prevent “outsiders” from gaining control of NIC.
  4. Who is behind most of the problems cited in NWCCU’s “Show Cause” letter.


To really understand what is going on behind the scenes, you need to understand the forces that are arrayed against NIC’s new board of trustees.    NISGR has written a series of articles over the last few months that expose the hidden hand behind the NIC accreditation fiasco, and all the other contrived crises tearing apart the college.


Each of the articles listed below does a deep dive into a nefarious network of influencers at NIC, and names names.   This is necessary because overly-broad, non-specific accusations of wrong-doing cannot be effective.    However, we have provided a summary of our major findings below that may be sufficient for the casual reader.  More details can be found in the linked articles.


NIC, Crony Capitalists, and the Education Corridor


This article provides evidence that the real power behind the throne at NIC is the NIC Foundation, and its well-connected ally, the CDA Rotary Club.   The NIC Foundation has enormous influence over the college, yet it is composed of self-appointed wealthy donors who are not accountable to the public. [Much like the KH Foundation that recently took control of Kootenai Health].


Furthermore, the foundation board is dominated by developers, investors, and money-managers, whose primary interest in the college is not to improve education opportunities, but to participate in the “redevelopment” of the Education Corridor,—a multi-million-dollar public-private partnership that is intended to transform all of the property in the vicinity of NIC.  There is an enormous amount of money at stake, but more importantly,  a plan for redevelopment based on a globalist vision of dense, corporate-controlled,  “sustainable growth” that is antithetical to the desires of almost all residents of the area.


The article also points out connections between the NIC Foundation, former NIC Trustees, the college administration, and the International Rotary Club.


  • 19 of 28 NIC Foundation Board members are Rotarians
  • The last 4 NIC Presidents, including Nick Swayne, are Rotarians
  • Both Trustees Emeritus who served over 20 years on the NIC board are Rotarians
  • Two of the three NIC Trustees appointed by the ISBE are Rotarians.
  • The wife of NIC Board Attorney, Marc Lyons is a Rotarian.


Finally, the article provides evidence that virtually all of the organizations who are actively resisting the independent NIC Board of Trustees,—including, Friends of NIC, the North Idaho RepublicansCEQECDART, and the Chamber of Commerce,—are composed mostly of Rotarians.   Even the CDA Press is led by a Rotarian. 


In other words, almost all the “resistance” to the board of Trustees highlighted in the mainstream media is Rotarian Astroturf.   The same group of professional activists have organized themselves into half a dozen associations, each pretending  to represent the “people of CDA”, when they are really just shills for a corrupt group of wealthy, globalism-loving, crony-captialists.



The “Friends of NIC” Plan to Dismantle the College


“I want to be clear that there are other options to protect NIC if loss of accreditation happens. . . . . .  the state has the option of placing NIC under the University of Idaho.”  Tony Stewart,  KCTFHR,  Nov 2021.
Note: Stewart authored the complaint to NWCCU that led to the accreditation crisis.


This article shows how the accreditation drama at NIC is a manufacted crisis and exposes a long standing plan to bring NIC under control of the University of Idaho.  It seems that if the Rotarian-NIC Foundation conspirators are unable to regain control of the college from the rogue Board of Trustees, then the Idaho State Board of Education (ISBE) will need to intervene.


But in order for the ISBE to step in and “rescue” NIC from its elected trustees, it must be made to appear that the new board is failing.    Hence the contrived accreditation crisis, multiple resignations, and orchestrated chaos.  The accreditation agencies, KCTFHR, and the “Friends of NIC” all have their marching orders, and the lap-dog media amplifies every protest, complaint, and “vote of no confidence” to maximize fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The string-pullers have many strings to pull and the appearance of chaos must be maintained.


NIC is an essential part of the globalist plan to “redevelop” and “re-educate” North Idaho and control of the college means having compliant leadership.  This is why control of the NIC Presidency is absolutely essential to the cabal.    All other issues brought by the accreditation board or the Friends of NIC are distractions. There will be no peace at NIC until Swayne, the cabal’s hand-picked president, is re-instated.


The article also provides some insight into ISBE, and shows its relationship to the NIC Foundation.   The “smoking gun”, proving collusion between ISBE and the NIC Foundation is that ISBE named four Rotarians among the eight trustee finalists, even though only five of the 37 applicants were Rotarians.  In other words, ISBE only considered “insiders”  as possible Trustee candidates.


Given that all four of the most recent NIC Presidents are Rotarians, it appears that being a member of an exclusive club of self-dealing, globalist cronies is a requirement  for the job of  NIC President.


The “Managed Decline” of NIC


This article is based mostly on statistics relating to NIC enrollment and funding that were taken from Idaho’s official legislative Budget Books from the years 2010 to 2020.    It clearly demonstrates that the enrollment numbers at NIC declined steadily since 2012, under the two Rotarian NIC Presidents Joe Dunlap (2012-2016) and Rick MacLennan (2016-2020).



The article specifically excludes all data from 2020-2022, so it is clear that 100% of this decline occurred under Presidents that were fully supported by the “Friends of NIC”, by the NIC Foundation, and by the ISBE.  The time period investigated is also prior to COVID, so covid-related declines are factored out.


The article also analyzes NIC’s funding sources and concludes that while “Full-Time-Equivalent” enrollment dropped precipitously between 2011 and 2019, NIC funding significantly increased and the College remains prosperous enough to invest in properties, in spite of its scandalous failure to attract and retain students.


It is notable that during an entire decade of precipitous decline NWCCU gave the NIC administration outstanding reviews, and did not identify a single problem that could explain the disastrous enrollment declines.  It appears that NWCCU has much more to explaining to do, than the current board of Trustees of NIC.


Speaking of NWCCU, we now have enough background information to tackle the Accreditation crisis.  Let’s see what we can find out.


The NWCCU “Show Cause” Letter


“A show cause letter is a piece of correspondence that advises another person that he or she has the opportunity to show why a legal action should not be taken against them.”


The accreditation crisis has been dragging on at NIC for two years.     It began in early 2021, shortly after a “conservative” faction took control of the NIC board of Trustees.   Since that time, the amount of “trouble” the college is in with NWCCU has corresponded directly to how much control the Friends of NIC have over the College Presidency.  Whenever conservatives are in charge of the administration,  accreditation threats abound.  Whenever a trusted “establishment” NIC President is governing the college, NWCCU threats and warndings subside.


The latest burst of NWCCU activity began as soon as Dr. Swayne was put on administrative leave in December, and has ramped up quickly since then, especially since the NIC attorney submitted subpoenas to former trustees and staff involved in hiring Swayne.  On Feb 9th, NIC received a Show Cause letter, which is a direct threat by NWCCU to withdraw NIC’s accreditation in the near future.


The eight page letter includes the following sections:


Summary of Recent Events:  lists relevant events between Sept 2021 and Jan 2023.  (2 pages)


Institutional Risks:  summarizes the actions which NWCCU claims put NIC at risk of being “out of compliance” their “Standards of Accreditation  (1 page)


Eligibility and Accreditation Standards: Lists the complete text of about 14 NWCCU standards, presumably because they may be areas of potential violation.  However, no specifics are given. (4 pages)


Is that all there is?   Yes.   That’s all.   It appears that NWCCU’s  letter of sanction boils down to twelve bullet points on a single page, that are only vaguely linked to standards they may or may not be violating.


NISGR’s analysis of the NWCCU “Show Cause” letter focuses mainly on Institutional Risks.  This section should list the exact violations that NIC is being accused of, but it is not very specific.  The striking thing about this list is that almost all the “risk”factors” cited are a result of coordinated actions by “Friends of NIC” taken AGAINST the Board of Trustees rather than actions instigated by the Trustees, as the following graph demonstrates.



It seems that the NWCCU letter focuses almost entirely on the activities of a well-organized group of people who oppose the new board and are intentionally creating problems for the college, and cites their activities as “Institutional Risk” factors that justify withdrawing accreditation from the college.


In other words the  “Friends of NIC” are purposefully destroying the college.