Nellis is new UI president

Nellis is new UI president
(MOSCOW) -. The Idaho State Board of Education said it would have a decision soon and announced Wednesday that Dr. Duane Nellis has accepted the position of President of the University of Idaho.

In a news release from the Board, officials said the offer of employment to Nellis, current Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics at Kansas State University, came as a result of a unanimous vote in an open meeting, held via telephone from the University of Idaho campus.

“I am so pleased,” said Board President Paul Agidius. “I have no doubt in my mind that we found the absolute best person. Dr. Nellis brings so much to this campus, this community and to this state.”

“It’s a thrill,” said Nellis. “I feel like I’m coming home. I have so much energy and passion for the work of land grant institutions and the special role they play in education. I just can’t wait to get started!”

Nellis takes over for Interim President Steven Dayley-Laursen, who has been serving since June 2008. Daley-Laursen guided the University of Idaho after Tim White left for the University of California Riverside.

“I want everyone to know that Steven Daley-Laursen gave this board the greatest advantage you can have in a search; time,” said Board President Paul Agidius. “His leadership and vision for this institution allowed us a board to take the time necessary to fully engage in the process, to vet all the candidates and do the due diligence required in such an important hire.”

A presidential search committee of 16 people began work on finding a permanent replacement for White in July 2008. Nellis along with four others were named finalists for the position in January 2009.

Nellis visited various UI campus locations in early February 2009.

Nellis will start July 1, 2009 commencing with the start of the new fiscal year. He will be paid an annual salary of $335,000, $298,000 from the state of Idaho and $37,000 in the form of an unrestricted gift from the University of Idaho Foundation to the University to use for presidential compensation.

He will receive the rank of full tenure professor, a three year contract, use of the on-campus residence and a $7,200 annual automobile allowance

The Board also voted to waive two different policies, clearing the way for Nellis’ appointment. The Board waived its policies that provide institution presidents are not eligible for academic tenure or to receive supplemental compensation from institutional foundations.

The Board determined to waive those policies in connection with the appointment of Dr. Nellis, and asked its staff to prepare a revision to those policies for proposed future consideration.