With regard to the upcoming North Idaho College nonpartisan trustee election, we have witnessed an attempt to inject a partisan ideology into the campaign that if successful could result in a new Board majority with the power to adopt policies that could result in NIC’s loss of accreditation.
Let us explain. What is accreditation? It is a set of mandatory requirements for all education institutions set by the seven regional accreditation commissions.
It is essential for NIC to maintain accreditation for the students’ degrees to be authentic and essential for those students ability to transfer their courses and associate degrees to an accredited four-year college. The loss of accreditation ends Federal student financial assistance. NIC has been accredited since 1947. The permanent loss of accreditation is the death knell for any institution.
Among the 23 essential eligibility requirements for accreditation include for example effective communication, global awareness and cultural sensitivity (#5); a policy of Non-Discrimination (#7); and Academic Freedom (#16) reads in part: “the institution adheres to and maintains an atmosphere that promotes, supports, and sustains academic freedom and independence that protects its constituencies from inappropriate internal or external influences, pressures, and harassment. Faculty, students, staff, and administrators are free to examine and test all knowledge and theories.”
The implementation of a biased ideology would violate the accreditation requirements; endanger NIC’s accreditation, as well as possible expensive lawsuits.
This is why we enthusiastically support Dr. Joe Dunlap and Dr. Paul Sturm to protect these nonpartisan accreditation requirements.
Former NIC Faculty,
Michelle and Pat Lippert
Friday, September 25, 2020 The Coeur d’Alene Press