Jay Kenton looks at Idaho

Jay Kenton, Portland State vice-president of finance and adminis one of four final candidates seeking employment with Universityof Idaho, but doesn’t seem ready to leave PSU just yet. Theposition would relocate him to Moscow, Idaho as its institute’sfinancial vice-president.

The human resources search committee have narrowed down thechoices but are waiting for the University’s new president, OregonState University provost Tim White, to arrive in June. White willmake the final hiring decision.

When asked about his application status, Kenton sighed andcarefully refused comment.

Kenton has gained accolades from members of the Portlandcommunity for his work to fund building projects with and withoutstate money, and has become a high profile PSU administrator.

Kenton visited Moscow May 2 and 3 to interview for the job andconsult students. In a lunch with students and faculty, associatedstudents of UI president Isaac Myhrum recalled Kenton’s wasinterest in the position and apprehension over leavingPortland.

“He told us that he was interviewing the university as much aswe were interviewing him,” Myhrum said.

“I got the sense that he was looking for a place where both heand his wife would feel comfortable.”

“I guess he’s very satisfied with the job that he has atPortland State,” Myhrum continued, “he told us that unless he wasabsolutely sure that this was the job for him he wasn’t going tomake the move.”

Byron Dangerfield, dean of Business and Economics and member ofthe search committee in charge of finding the cream of hundreds ofcandidates, introduced Kenton during an open forum in Moscow bydescribing him as an academic (author of a book on finance) and”the only applicant that teaches.”

“He might not need this job, but he’s here anyway, and we’reglad he is,” Dangerfield said.

Kenton took his job at PSU when former Vice President of FinanceGeorge Pernsteiner left in August 2002. Kenton was previously PSUchief financial officer.

The University of Idaho has seen tumultuous times over the pastyear, losing its president and financial vice president to afinance scandal. The university has made cuts to popular programssince then, inciting student outcry and concerns about thedirection of the institution.

While Kenton described his job at PSU as one of large-scaleexpansion and community-building (citing the designation of theUniversity District and large building projects), the job offinancial vice president in Moscow would be more akin to arebuilding.

University of Idaho is a much smaller school, with enrollment of11,444 compared to PSU’s 24,000. Moscow itself is smaller thanPortland, with a population of 21,000.

The other candidates up for the job are: Walter Branson, vicechancellor for financial affairs at Indiana University-PurdueUniversity Fort Wayne; Thomas Anderes, senior vice chancellor forfinance and administration for the Oregon University System inEugene; Stephen Keto, associate vice chancellor for finance andbusiness at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.