By MARC STEWART
A familiar face could be returning to a key leadership role at North Idaho College next month.
Former NIC president Joe Dunlap, who retired two years ago, is among four candidates who are vying for an open seat on the NIC Board of Trustees.
The board will hold a special meeting Thursday, Jan. 4 at the NIC Edminster Student Union Building in the Driftwood Bay Room to interview prospective candidates to serve on the board.
Dunlap, a Coeur d’Alene resident, joins Russell McLain of Coeur d’Alene, Cynthia Elliott of Hayden and James Kimball of Coeur d’Alene as the other hopeful candidates. The open seat was vacated by Judy Meyer, who retired in November. She resigned after 22 years of service on the board and her final day serving on the board will be Jan. 31, 2018.
“Whomever is appointed has big shoes to fill,” said NIC Board Chair Christie Wood. “Judy Meyer is amazing when it comes to higher education. She was a long-term board member with a lot of knowledge and a network of people across the state. Hopefully, whoever gets the position will work as hard as she did.”
Letters of interest from potential trustees residing in Meyer’s zone were solicited and the deadline to apply was Dec. 15. Wood said the board intends to appoint someone to the board and have them sworn into office during the trustees next regular meeting on Jan. 17.
McLain said he would like to serve on the board to “finish the game” that former NIC trustee Ron Nilson started in regard to professional technical education.
“I like the professional technical classes and I want to see them succeed,” said McLain, a 25-year resident of Coeur d’Alene. “It’s economic development. I know a lot of kids who have done well and are able to put coins in their pocket because of professional technical education. It’s a real soft spot for me.”
Elliott, a certified teacher in Idaho, said she feels she has the experience, the knowledge base and the passion to represent the residents of Kootenai County well.
“I want North Idaho college to remain an instiution that meets the educational needs of our community through the various programs and certification oportunities it provides,” said Elliott, who taught elementary and special education students.
None of the other candidates could be reached for comment. The public will get a chance to better know the candidates at the board’s special meeting. Each candidate will be asked five or six questions by the board.
“We want to get a feel for their commitment to higher education, and their understanding of the needs of higher education,” said Wood. “And they would have to be comfortable running for election in November.”
As per Idaho statute, elected officials who are appointment to office must seek election during the next available general election, which in this case would be Nov. 6, 2018. Meyer’s Zone 4 seat, which covers areas of Coeur d’Alene and Hayden, is up for re-election in 2020.