Higher Dread

Emma Pettit on a power struggle at North Idaho College that may prove to be a bellwether in the national war over higher education


Hey y’all. A couple weeks ago the DC-based Chronicle of Higher Education ran a story from right in our backyard about a coordinated effort by Kootenai County Republicans to run for the ostensibly non-partisan North Idaho College Board of Trustees on explicitly conservative talking points. They leveraged the full power of the local Republican Central Committee, ended up winning a super majority on the board, then quickly came into conflict with the college’s administration, faculty and staff.

The report’s author, Emma Pettit, joins us to get the details.

It’s a fascinating window on our region and a great conversation, though one important question remains unanswered: whether this is a new tactic in the conservative war on higher education or if it’s just Kootenai County being Kootenai County.

As a bit of a coda, this week Emma wrote a quasi-follow up piece about Idaho Freedom Action’s campaign to “Fix Idaho Colleges” by robocalling about Marxism and how students are conditioned to “apologize for being white.”