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Wednesday, April 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Board May Not Consider Anti-Zinser Petitions

The state Board of Education may choose not even to consider petitions either supporting or seeking the ouster of University of Idaho President Elisabeth Zinser, the board’s president says.

“I don’t know that we’ll ever take up the petitions as an issue,” Curtis Eaton of Twin Falls said Friday.

Boise attorney Mack Redford began circulating a petition in March, stating that Zinser has been unwilling or unable to communicate with various university groups and has lost the confidence of her constituents. The petition asks the Board of Education not to renew Zinser’s contract at the June board meeting in Moscow.

The board also has received a letter from some of the state’s leading political figures supporting the embattled president. Former U.S. Sen. James McClure and former Idaho House Speaker Tom Boyd top a list of legislative and industry leaders encouraging the Board of Education to retain Zinser.

Eaton said the board’s May meeting is primarily a planning session, and there are no plans to include discussion of the petitions on the agenda. Evaluations of all the university presidents are scheduled for the June meeting.

Zinser, 55, has been the University of Idaho’s president since 1989. She now is a finalist for president at West Virginia University and for chancellor at the University of Kentucky.

The University System of West Virginia board of trustees has tentatively scheduled a meeting for May 16-17 to meet with the finalists. Trustees hope to name the new president at their regularly scheduled meeting June 2.

University of Kentucky President Charles T. Wethington Jr. plans to recommend one candidate for chancellor to the board of trustees at its June 13 meeting.

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