NICC President endorses Askelson for Trustee

By Herbert H. J. Riedel, Ph.D., Decorah, President of NICC

Please vote for Julie Askelson in NICC District 3—a superb leader who has dedicated her life to education, having served as a teacher and administrator.  Incumbent Jim Anderson has been on the Board over 20 years, is about to turn 80, and intends to serve only long enough to be honored by the state association for 25 years of service (in about 2 years).

As Board Chair, Mr. Anderson inappropriately inserted himself into personnel matters.  He micro-managed the College and the President, and interfered in the day-to-day management—a likely violation of the criteria for accreditation of the College’s accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).  Furthermore, he has engaged in potential violations of Iowa’s campaign ethics laws and led the Board in taking a potentially illegal action in a closed session.  He attempted to inappropriately contact College employees to assist him in a matter of Board politics—directly contravening the explicit guidance received from the Executive Vice President of HLC and the College President.  He colluded with the College Foundation to unduly pressure the College to install a person selected by them into a Cabinet position and to remove the president.  This included a threat by the Foundation to withhold $300,000 in funding.  This unethical undue pressure could result in sanctions against the College or removal of accreditation, without which the College could not continue its operations.  I informed the College attorney and the Board of Trustees of these problems and a week later was placed on “paid administrative leave.”

Julie Askelson will help to restore sanity to our dysfunctional Board, work for relevant in-demand and high-paying programs of study, expand athletics, and eliminate partisan politics, which has no place in our beloved College.  She will bring integrity, dedication and hard work to this important position.

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