Accreditation Key Points

NIC is going through a dynamic process with our accrediting body, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Here's what you need to know about the latest developments:

Updated Thursday, May 25 4:06 p.m.

Trustees approve board response to votes of no confidence

The NIC Board of Trustees approved a board statement regarding votes of no confidence at a regular meeting on May 24.

The statement acknowledges multiple votes of no confidence the board has received from NIC's Faculty and Staff Assemblies and the Associated Students of NIC since 2021.

The statement expresses the board's appreciation of constituents' commitment, dedication and devotion to the college. It also states that each trustee intends "to learn to speak with one voice, focus on resolving conflicts and work together as a board to keep the interests of our students at the forefront of our efforts."

The statement was approved 3-2 with Trustees Brad Corkill, Mike Waggoner and Tarie Zimmerman voting in favor of the statement; trustees Todd Banducci and Greg McKenzie voted nay.

Trustee McKenzie presented the statement as a draft at the board's regular meeting on April 26, and the college released a copy of the draft on May 1.

The board statement will be included in the college's response to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) regarding the report from a peer evaluation team's April site visit during the college's show cause review. NIC must submit that response to the NWCCU by May 30 in preparation for the accrediting body's June 20-23 meeting when NIC's accreditation status will be discussed. The college will release its May 30 response soon after submission and expects to hear a decision regarding its accreditation status in July.

Read the board's statement here and find more information about the draft statement here.

Attorney Macomber withdraws; NIC to release third search for legal services

The college's interim legal counsel Art Macomber withdrew as counsel during the NIC Board of Trustees' regular meeting on May 24. He will stay on in a limited capacity until new legal counsel is found. Mr. Macomber was appointed by the board in December to act as interim legal counsel, and his withdrawl is effective Aug. 15.

Mr. Macomber recognizes his obligation to provide legal counsel to the extent necessary to help NIC fulfill its baseline legal obligations until a replacement is found. Mr. Macomber will concentrate on those and the implementation of the transition to new counsel.

Read the statement Mr. Macomber prepared to present to the board during the May 24 meeting here. Please note Mr. Macomber verbally agreed to end his contract on Aug. 15 during the meeting; the date in the prepared statement is incorrect.

During the May 24 meeting, the NIC Board of Trustees voted to revoke the acceptance of law firm Holland & Hart as the college's new legal counsel. Trustees Todd Banducci, Greg McKenzie and Mike Waggoner voted in favor of revoking acceptance; trustees Brad Corkill and Tarie Zimmerman voted nay.

Trustee McKenzie proposed the motion to revoke acceptance due to further review of additional information about Holland & Hart, "such as pricing (and) evidence of undesirable terms in the engagement agreement, including conflict of interest provisions that had not been communicated or reviewed by the board prior to the vote," according to Trustee McKenzie's motion.

The board voted 3-2 to accept Holland & Hart at its April 26 meeting with trustees Corkill, McKenzie and Zimmerman voting in favor and trustees Banducci and Waggoner voting nay.

During the May 24 board meeting, NIC President Nick Swayne said the college will put out a request for qualifications (RFQ) for legal services as soon as possible to secure long-term legal representation for the college. RFQ 23-04 was posted May 25 here on NIC's Office of Finance and Business website. Responses are due June 2.

NIC put out two RFQs for legal services in January and February, both of which failed due to an insufficient number of responses. After the second search failed this spring, college administration solicited firms for legal services, and President Swayne recommended Holland & Hart to the board at the April 26 meeting.

NIC is also being represented by independent attorneys appointed by the college's insurance company in three active lawsuits; however, these attorneys are not contracted to act as general legal counsel for the college.

In an effort to be transparent and open, the college has posted all communications with the NWCCU.

We are also providing accurate and timely information.

And we have a provided a list of FAQs about accreditation and what it means for all our constituents.

Thank you for your interest and concern about NIC. Our community is a significant part of what makes NIC so special, and our campus community is committed to the most important of all our goals: serving students.

The information provided here is subject to change. The content of NIC's Key Points is subject to change because of new action by any party, availability of new information, and changes in requirements and/or status. The college is committed to providing the best knowledge we have at the time to our community.