Meyer seeks another term as NIC trustee

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COEUR d'ALENE - Another incumbent's name will be on the November ballot in the North Idaho College trustee election.

Judy Meyer announced Sunday that she will seek another term on the NIC board.

"NIC has great momentum right now, and I want to continue the progress," Meyer said.

Meyer's leadership experience in education in Idaho, locally and at the state level, goes back more than two decades. She served on the NIC board from 1990 to 1994, until she was appointed by then-Gov. Cecil Andrus to a five-year term on the Idaho State Board of Education. Meyer was elected president of the state board in 1998.

She was elected to the NIC board again in 2002 and was re-elected in 2008.

"The NIC board's responsibility to chart the course for the future growth of the school is our biggest opportunity," Meyer said. "My extensive experience in higher education governance gives me constructive insight and vision into the complex decisions ahead of us."

She said she believes in NIC and has high expectations for the college.

NIC is positioned for growth, Meyer said, citing the recent hiring of new president Joe Dunlap and the completion of the development of the infrastructure on the education corridor property. The college's purchase of the land was completed in 2010, during Meyer's recent term on the board. It expands the NIC campus while providing space for other Idaho higher education institutions to do the same, especially the University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College, schools that already have a strong presence near the NIC campus.

"I am determined to continue and extend our cooperative efforts with our education partners to expand the four-year degree opportunities in Coeur d'Alene," Meyer said.

At the same time, she said the NIC board is committed to growing its professional-technical education (PTE) programs. Meyer said the board selected Dunlap to serve as the college's next president after Priscilla Bell's retirement because of Dunlap's strong experience in the PTE area.

The future of NIC, and the region it serves, relies strongly on the college's ability to adapt to changing conditions, Meyer said.

"Whether we are in times of economic prosperity or times of stress, the NIC professional-technical and workforce training programs must be nimble, flexible and responsive to the needs of our business community," she said.

During Meyer's time on the Idaho State Board of Education in the '90s, she played a key role in the development of programs and policies designed to increase collaboration among the state's public colleges and universities, something she still strongly advocates for. The goals of these efforts, Meyer said, are to reduce duplication among the schools and keep higher education programs affordable and accessible to students while providing for seamless transfer between programs.

She pointed to NIC's growing online education opportunities as new options for convenient, affordable access to the college's programs.

Meyer also strongly supports the current state board of education and Gov. Butch Otter's Complete College Idaho initiative. That program's purpose is to significantly increase the number of Idaho students who finish their postsecondary education and earn a degree or certificate. Meyer said NIC will play an important role in this effort because community colleges offer the most cost-effective higher education opportunities nationwide.

"My experience at the state level has helped NIC establish a new coalition among the three community colleges (NIC, the College of Southern Idaho and the College of Western Idaho) to advocate collectively at the state level for funding for community college programs," Meyer said.

Meyer has extensive experience on boards beyond the realm of higher education including Blue Cross of Idaho, the Community Library Network, Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, Hospice of North Idaho and the Idaho State Historical Society.

Meyer is a founding member and regional vice-chair of Idaho Business for Education, a statewide group of CEOs who work to improve education in Idaho.

She and her husband Steve own Parkwood Business Properties, a commercial real estate development company operating in the Coeur d'Alene area.

"When we recruit businesses to this area, one of the first questions is about the education opportunities and the capabilities of possible employees," Meyer said. "I think the path to employment success and community well-being is through our education system."

The NIC board seats now held by Mic Armon and Ron Vieselmeyer are also up for election on Nov. 6. Armon has announced his candidacy, and Vieselmeyer said he will not seek another term.

The deadline for candidates to file their declarations/petitions of candidacy is Friday at 5 p.m.

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