March 27, 2013
The University of Idaho Board of Regents today announced the selection of Donald L. Burnett, Jr., dean of the College of Law, as the interim president to begin work upon the departure of current president M. Duane Nellis in June.
“We are confident Don is the right person to lead
the institution during this period of transition.”
President, State Board of Education
“Don has been an outstanding dean of the UI’s College of Law, and we are confident he is the right person to lead the institution during this period of transition,” said Ken Edmunds, president of the State Board of Education. “The board appreciates Don’s willingness to take on the responsibilities of Interim President, and we look forward to working with him over the next few months.”
Burnett, an Idaho native, has served as the University of Idaho College of Law dean since 2002. He also serves as the coordinating dean for interdisciplinary programs in water resources, environmental science, and professional science masters program. He had previously served as the dean of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and law degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Virginia.
“I am humbled by this call to service for the whole university,” said Burnett. “The University of Idaho is one of our state’s great treasures. Historian Rafe Gibbs described our university as a ‘beacon for mountain and plain.’ I will work energetically with all members of the university community, and with all friends of the university, to assure that our beacon continues to reach far and shine brightly.”
Burnett is expected to serve as interim until the selection of a permanent president.
I’m pleased that our Board of Regents has selected Don as the interim president to step into this role when I leave in June, said Nellis. “He comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge of Idaho, its people and our university.”
The Board also announced this week that Regent Emma Atchley will chair the search committee for a permanent replacement for M. Duane Nellis, who has accepted a position as President of Texas Tech University effective June 15, 2013. Members of the search committee will be named by mid-April.