Kansas State University Provost Duane Nellis declined the offer Thursday.
"I really enjoyed meeting faculty, students and alumni at the University of Idaho. It is a quality land grant institution with significant promise," Nellis said in a statement released by KSU. "After seriously considering the opportunity at the University of Idaho, I have decided to decline the offer of employment as president there."
Nellis has been K-State's chief academic officer since 2004. He spent 17 years at K-State, progressing from assistant professor of geography to professor and head of the department, and then to senior associate dean of K-State's College of Arts and Sciences. He left briefly in 1997 to serve as dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University.
Nellis was one of two finalists to make official visits to University of Idaho campuses around the state earlier this year.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)