Idaho Community College Board Dumps Pro-Mask President Rick MacLennan, Taps Wrestling Coach Instead

A neighborhood faculty board in northern Idaho has been torn asunder after a wrestling coach with no obvious expertise in working colleges was appointed interim president weeks after its pro-mask mandate president was fired.

The North Idaho Faculty Board of Trustees booted Rick MacLennan throughout a September assembly, after repeatedly delaying a vote to resume his contract and a weeks-long bitter dispute over whether or not or not masks ought to be required on campus to guard the workers and college students.

When he introduced the masks mandate earlier than the beginning of lessons, MacLennan framed it as “not in the slightest degree fascinating” however a vital effort supported by well being steering that “improves our probabilities of with the ability to keep open this fall.”

However simply 4 days into the semester, MacLennan wrote to the neighborhood alerting them to a revised coverage after the masks requirement was knocked down by the school’s Board of Trustees.

“I’m really hopeful that you simply, and importantly, our college students select to proceed masking regardless of the lifting of the requirement,” MacLennan wrote in his Aug. 30 letter.

MacLennan’s name for a mandate was swatted down in a 3-2 board vote by Chair Todd Banducci, together with trustees Greg McKenzie and Michael Barnes, who voted in favor of rescinding the mandate. Trustees Ken Howard and Christie Wooden voted towards it.

In a duplicate of an e mail to the board obtained by Inside Higher Ed, MacLennan pleaded with board members to rethink their choice, citing an open letter from medical professionals encouraging the measure, whereas flagging “rising COVID-19 constructive instances inside our faculty neighborhood” pushed by the Delta variant.

Weeks later MacLennan, whose contract had been usually renewed since his appointment in 2016, was terminated and the board. On Monday, they chose Michael Sebaaly, who coached wrestling on the faculty, to function interim president till they may conduct a sweeping, nationwide expertise seek for a brand new president. He’ll step in for appearing president Lita Burns.

In response to the Spokesman-Review, following a two-hour lengthy government session on Monday, trustees voted 3-2 to put in Sebaaly with out discussing what certified the bodily training teacher to run the establishment which enrolls 5,000 college students.

Banducci and McKenzie, together with Barnes—the identical trio who opposed the masks mandate—supported Sebaaly’s appointment.

In response to an online biography describing his credentials, Sebaaly has a doctorate in academic management and spent 5 years as head wrestling coach at Northwest Kansas Technical Faculty. The {qualifications} listed on the varsity’s web site don’t element his management expertise outdoors of sports activities.

Sebaaly didn’t reply to The Every day Beast’s request for touch upon Wednesday about every other {qualifications} for the function.

Wooden, who opposed Sebaaly’s appointment, described the choice course of for a job boasting a $200,000 prorated wage as corrupt.

“A few of these individuals are simply private acquaintances with the board chair,” Wooden advised the Spokesman-Assessment. “The method has been fully corrupted, and it’s been carried out so by three trustees who had folks in thoughts for the place. It has nothing to do with {qualifications} to run a better training establishment. It has to do with private friendships and (political) ideology.”

Board member Ken Howard, who additionally opposed Sebaaly’s appointment, advised the outlet the function ought to require a minimal 5 years’ administrative expertise. Howard didn’t instantly reply to The Every day Beast’s request for remark.

However in line with a duplicate of the job advert circulating on-line, alongside a listing of preferences, the one formal requirement for the function is a grasp’s diploma from a regionally accredited establishment, the Spokesman-Assessment reported. Sebaaly obtained a grasp’s diploma in historical past from Buffalo State Faculty.

Within the aftermath of his firing, MacLennan filed a authorized criticism towards the school and the three board members who voted on Monday for his alternative, claiming he had been unlawfully fired.

The trail to his departure has prolonged past masks mandates and was additional sophisticated by different inner board politics, colleagues mentioned.

In response to Inside Higher Ed, Banducci had been angling to eliminate MacLennan for months after MacLennan flagged inappropriate conduct by Banducci, together with accusations of bodily assault towards a feminine worker, which triggered an unsuccessful recall effort towards Banducci.

Wooden advised the outlet she had referred to as for Banducci’s resignation, describing the habits in query in a letter to the neighborhood as “abusive and aggressive.”

The board at North Idaho Faculty has been embroiled in an ongoing investigation by its accreditor, the Northwest Fee on Faculties and Universities, since March, after it obtained a proper criticism about Banducci and different board members.

Banducci, Wooden, and a spokesperson for the varsity didn’t reply to requests for remark by the point of publication on Wednesday. way of=rss | Idaho Neighborhood Faculty Board Dumps Professional-Masks President Rick MacLennan, Faucets Wrestling Coach As an alternative


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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