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UI vice president takes job with Oregon schools

Associated Press

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho’s new financial vice president is leaving his post after less than a year.

The school announced Wednesday that Jay Kenton, who was hand-picked by University President Tim White, has accepted a job as vice chancellor for finance and administration for the Oregon University System. His resignation is effective March 31, three months before the end of his one-year contract.

Kenton has refused to comment about his departure.

Bob Hieronymus, a university spokesman, said Kenton makes $155,000 a year and the money from the remaining three months of his contract may be used in the search for a replacement.

The university spent $67,000 last year to find a financial vice president. Now White is deciding whether to start a search immediately or delay the effort until the university’s Office of Finance and Administration reorganizes amid a $2 million budget cut, Hieronymus said.

If the hiring effort is delayed, Hieronymus said, White may promote someone to fill the position on an interim basis or contract with someone outside the university for financial services.

School officials worry that the impending budget cuts may make it hard to recruit a replacement.

But Idaho state Board of Education member Paul Agidius said Kenton had accomplished a great deal while at the university.

“Any time we have something like this, some people will look at it as a setback, some people will look at it as an opportunity to bring somebody else in with great qualifications,” he said.

Laird Stone, also an education board member, said he did not fault Kenton for moving on.

“Career moves are personal choices. He sees it as a good career move, and I wish him well,” Stone said.

Kenton helped save the university about $1.9 million per year on the Idaho Water Center project in Boise, laid the groundwork for cheaper employee health insurance and reduced accumulated deficits by more than $2 million, according to a university statement.

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