TWIN FALLS • The five finalists to be the next president of the University of Idaho will be in Twin Falls this month to meet with the public.

The finalists are: James Applegate, a consultant for higher education and philanthropy; Donald Birx, chancellor and professor at Pennsylvania State-Erie; Laurie Stenberg-Nichols, provost and vice president for academic affairs at South Dakota State University; Jack Payne, senior vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida;and Chuck Staben, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of South Dakota.

All five luncheon forums will be at 12:30 p.m. at the Stonehouse Event Center, 330 Fourth Ave. S., in Twin Falls. People are asked to RSVP by noon today to Linda Brandon at lbrandon@uidaho.edu or call 208-736-3603.

Birx will meet with community members Wednesday; Payne, Oct. 16; Applegate, Oct. 23; Staben, Oct. 25; and Nichols, Oct. 30.

All five candidates also have scheduled stops in Moscow, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls and Boise, said Don Morishita, a member of the presidential search committee and superintendent of the Kimberly Research and Extension Center.

“We were able to talk them into making a stop in Twin Falls,” Morishita said. “More than anything, we wanted the candidates to meet the people at the different locations. We just felt it was important for the public to have some input.”

During the hour-long forums, each candidate will say a few words and answer questions from the audience.

Morishita said he will forward feedback from the forums to Emma Atchley, chairwoman of the search committee.

The search for a new president began earlier this year when former President Duane Nellis accepted the top administrative post at Texas Tech University. The state Board of Education will interview the five finalists in late October and hopes to announce the new UI president in November.

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