University of Idaho looks at new president's residence

The presidential search committee is concerned about the home of the university's next leader.


MOSCOW - Discussion about the current University of Idaho's presidential home, as well as a status update for the search, will be among the items discussed by the Idaho State Board of Education during its two-day meeting that begins at 1 p.m. today and continues Thursday at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.

Concern about the age, condition and design of the current presidential residence was first expressed by the presidential search committee during its initial meeting April 19, according to a background report from U of I in the state board's meeting agenda.

The search committee said in the report that while the residence's public space provided "an adequate and acceptable venue for entertaining, the living quarters of the house are not desirable," and suggested renovation be considered.

U of I found that renovating the existing building would not be feasible or cost effective in the long term after working with an architect to explore the possibility, according to the report.

The possibility of building a new structure also was considered, and the report indicates that could cost as much as $2 million. The university met with the U of I Foundation to discuss potential financial support for the possible project.

The board is not scheduled to make any decision on the president's residence. Staff of the State Board of Education believes the presidential residence is a factor in the search and that it would be beneficial to address and resolve the question before finalists for the president position are interviewed, according to the report.

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