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Eye On Boise

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2009, 2:47 P.M.

Otter: Parma center closure question should’ve gone to State Board of Ed

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, speaking at the Parma Research and Extension Center on Wednesday, says any decision to close the center must go through the state Board of Education - something that's not yet happened. At left is new University of Idaho President Duane Nellis. (Courtesy photo / Office of the Governor)
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, speaking at the Parma Research and Extension Center on Wednesday, says any decision to close the center must go through the state Board of Education - something that's not yet happened. At left is new University of Idaho President Duane Nellis. (Courtesy photo / Office of the Governor)

Gov. Butch Otter told a crowd of at least 75 people, including lawmakers, university and ag officials, farmers and more, at the Parma Research and Extension Center today that any decision to close the center needs to go through both the president of the University of Idaho and the State Board of Education. "The governor was concerned," said Otter's spokesman, Jon Hanian. "They were put in kind of a difficult position, because you had a president that was leaving ... and a president that was coming in. The concern was that the chain of command and the chain of responsibility on a decision like this really needed to go through the president, and once the president signed off on it, it needed to go to the board, and that didn't happen in this case."

Otter and new UI President Duane Nellis announced that the closure plan would be put on hold indefinitely for review. "He made no promises out there as to ultimately what will happen," Hanian said, "but he did say, 'Let's take a step back and look at this and allow it to go through the process.' " Hanian added, "In fairness to the president, he's only been on the job for what, eight days? The governor pointed out he's drinking from a fire hose right now, and they're on a tour around the state. He wants to give him some time, a couple of months to get his sea legs, and then take a look at this, and then it will go to the board, and once the board reviews it, it'll go to the governor."

Otter's been at the Allen & Co. media business confab at Sun Valley this week, and he's back there now, having flown out to Parma just for a few hours. He spoke at a luncheon at the Parma facility, where a large crowd - two buses full - had gathered for a tour.




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Eye On Boise

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