Interim president hopes next U I president will have a long-term relationship

MOSCOW, ID - The University of Idaho's Interim President took Duane Nellis' place as the university's leader about a month ago.

KLEW News met with Don Burnett to talk about his current role, and what kind of person he'd like to see fill the permanent position.

"This to me is a repayment of a family debt," said University of Idaho Interim President Don Burnett. "My parents went to school here."

Life-long Vandal Don Burnett took office as the University of Idaho's Interim President on June first, after serving as dean of the university's College of Law for the last eleven years.

"It's a high calling," said Burnett. "It's a high honor."

Burnett has spent the majority of that time traveling around the state.

"The University of Idaho's campus is the state of Idaho," said Burnett.

Burnett anticipates holding the presidential position for a little less than a year. He won't have a say in who the search committee chooses as the next president, but he has his own ideas on what the goals of that person should be.

"I would hope that the individual would treat the position not as a stepping stone but as a capstone," said Burnett.

The university's last two presidents each served four-year terms. He said that amount of turnover isn't out of the ordinary, but he hopes the next person will be ready for a long-term relationship with the U of I.

"The individual should have a special affinity for things that make Idaho special," said Burnett.

When Burnett steps down as interim president, he plans to return to the College of Law as a faculty member, as opposed to the dean.