Nellis Curbed His Enthusiasm About Keeping U of I Job 

"Of course, that means support from the people I work for, and I have to feel good about what I'm doing."

When Boise Weekly sat down with University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis (the M stands for Marvin) in July 2011, we quizzed him about the fact that he was the latest in a string of short-timers in his position—when Nellis took the top job at the U of I in July 2009, he was the fifth president in nearly a decade.

BW asked Nellis if he was going anywhere anytime soon. He curbed his firm commitment.

"What I said was, I wanted to make this my last stop," Nellis told BW. "But of course, that means support from the people I work for, and I have to feel good about what I'm doing."

Now, Nellis must be feeling otherwise because on March 1, U of I officials confirmed that Nellis is expected to take the presidency of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

When asked about his continuing budget challenges, Nellis told BW, "Well, that's been challenging. It wakes me up at night sometimes, but we're not alone in that."

When Nellis was a prime candidate to take the U of I job in 2009, the school's foundation needed to dig into its funds to sweeten Nellis' salary deal, which totaled $335,000 a year.

When BW asked Nellis In July 2011 where he was, on a scale of one to 10, on sticking with his job at the U of I, he said, "About eight or nine."

"I feel really good about the quality of our faculty, staff and students. Our alumni base has been super," said Nellis.

BW also asked Nellis about the 2011 war of words exchanged between himself and Boise State President Bob Kustra regarding the Bronco-Vandal football rivalry.

"I think the key is for us is to move beyond that," said Nellis. "We all learn from things we do in life."

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