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Saturday, March 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Finalists for University of Idaho’s next president released

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 28, 2019, 8:40 p.m.

The Idaho State Board of Education named five finalists for the position of University of Idaho President on Wednesday morning. Current UI President Chuck Staben’s contract expires June 15 and the ISBE has elected not to renew it. (Melissa Hartley)
The Idaho State Board of Education named five finalists for the position of University of Idaho President on Wednesday morning. Current UI President Chuck Staben’s contract expires June 15 and the ISBE has elected not to renew it. (Melissa Hartley)
By Scott Jackson Moscow-Pullman Daily News

The Idaho State Board of Education named five finalists for the position of University of Idaho President on Wednesday morning.

The ISBE narrowed the field from a list of more than 50 applicants to nine semi-finalists who were interviewed last week and winnowed down to five final candidates who will visit Moscow and Boise next week.

Current UI President Chuck Staben’s contract expires June 15 and the ISBE has elected not to renew it.

Earlier this month, the board approved a semester-long academic transitional leave for the outgoing president, which would begin next fall and allow him to prepare for a teaching assignment that would start at the UI in January, 2020 if he chooses to do so.

The finalists to takeover for Staben include:

Christopher Callahan: The founding dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, Callahan has more than 25 years of experience in university administration and management. Callahan is also the CEO of ASU-based Arizona Public Broadcasting System and Vice Provost for the university, overseeing the campus in downtown Phoenix, Ariz. which serves nearly 13,000 students. Callahan was honored as a top journalism dean by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2009.

Diane Chase: Currently serving a executive vice president and provost of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Chase is responsible for a budget of $448 million and oversees a faculty of 1,121 and a student base of nearly 30,500. She has served in an array of administrative and leadership positions at both UNLV and the University of Central Florida since 2000 and holds a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Scott Green: A UI alumnus and former ASUI president, Green has taken administrative posts at a number of top-ranked U.S. law firms and is the current Global Chief Operating and Financial Officer for Hogan Lovells – one of the largest law firms in the world, with offices in more than 30 countries and annual revenues topping $2 billion. A certified public accountant with a master’s degree in business from Harvard, Green is one of the first non-lawyers to lead a top U.S. law firm and was named as one 50 top innovators in the legal field over the past 50 years by the monthly magazine American Lawyer. Green has more than 20 years of administrative experience and has served as president of the UI National Alumni Board of Directors, Director of the UI Foundation from 2014 to 2016 and is a former member of the UI Business and Economics Advisory Board.

Elizabeth Spiller: The current dean of the College of Letters and Science at University of California, Davis, Spiller oversees more than 900 full-time faculty, serves nearly 16,000 students and manages a budget of $225 million. UC Davis ranks third on The New York Times College Access Index among schools “that do the most for the American Dream” and ninth on the Washington Monthly list of universities that contribute the most to the public good. Spillman holds a master’s degree and doctorate in English and American Language and Literature from Harvard.

Paul Tikalsky: Tikalsky is the current dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University and has served in leadership roles at higher education institutions since the late 1980s. During his tenure, the college raised $110 million from external donors, corporations and foundations. OSU is a land grant university like the UI and and is recognized as a leading research entity in health and engineering.

The candidates will be available next week in a series of local open forums hosted by the UI and the city of Moscow. The forums for the university community will take place 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day at an as-yet unannounced location and forums hosted by the city will take place 5 to 5:30 p.m. in Moscow City Hall council chambers.

The selected candidate will take over as UI president in June when Staben’s contract expires.

Staben could start teaching early next year.

Staben’s employment contract states he is entitled to a position in a department where he has the knowledge and competence to teach. While he has not officially accepted the teaching position, he will have to make a decision before his contract expires in June.

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