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MOSCOW -- The search committee charged with finding the next president of the University of Idaho has whittled its list down to five qualified candidates.

The State Board of Education announced the list of finalists Monday.

The finalists include James Applegate, a consultant for higher education and philanthropy; Donald Birx, chancellor and professor at Penn State-Erie; Laurie Stenberg-Nichols, provost and vice president for academic affairs at South Dakota State University.

The other two finalists are 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.

The search for a new president began earlier this year when former president Duane Nellis accepted the top administrative post at Texas Tech University.

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