Jack Payne, the second candidate in the search for the next University of Idaho president visited the Moscow campus Tuesday.
He said if he’s selected he plans to stick around for a while.
“I see the presidency at the University of Idaho as the last stop in my career and the highlight of my career and I would plan to remain in the position as long as the Board of Regents and people of Idaho will have me,” Payne said.
About 50 people were in attendance at the second open forum, the majority of which were university faculty and staff members.
“It’s been my experience that it takes a president about five years to find their way around the campus and to figure out how things work and another five years just to make a difference,” Payne said.
Payne addressed many issues in his presentation and spent several minutes discussing the importance of land-grant universities, calling himself a “true-blue land-grant guy.”
“My experience at five land-grant universities as either a faculty member or as an administrator has more than convinced me that Justin Smith Morrill and his vision for higher education is an educational model without parallel,” Payne said.
In addition Payne addressed the financial difficulties universities have faced — the country has been in recession almost the entire time he’s been a university administrator. He said he’s seen cuts and restructuring of systems and is aware of the continuing problem. But he said it’s important to include the employees of the university to determine what that should look like.
“It was clear that if you are not involving the people who actually do the work — your frontline folks for suggestions — chances are you’re missing out on the opportunity to be successful,” Payne said.
Payne said his leadership and management style is based on the missteps and successes he has had throughout his career, as well as a set of inspirational people he has met throughout his life.
“I make an effort to hire people who are smarter than me,” Payne said. “I do not make use of or tolerate hidden agendas. I serve the institution and its intendant mission first and I align my organizational goals and strategies to that mission. I only expect as much loyalty from my colleagues as I offer them.”
Payne said the guiding principals in his leadership style are based on transparency and clarity in operations and decision-making, accountability, mutual respect and trust.
“In plain terms I can assure you that all members of the university community will have a seat at the table and decisions will be made based on an open flow of information,” Payne said.
Kaitlyn Krasselt can be reached at email@example.com