Chuck Staben Named President of the University of Idaho

Monday, November 18 2013

(Moscow). The Idaho State Board of Education voted today to appoint Dr. Chuck Staben as President of the University of Idaho.

Dr. Staben, current Provost at the University of South Dakota, accepted the Board’s offer to serve as the University’s new president after a unanimous vote of the Board in a meeting held via teleconference from the University of Idaho campus in Moscow.

“We are very pleased to welcome Chuck and Mary Beth Staben to the University of Idaho and to our great state,” said Board President Don Soltman. “I was privileged to serve on the search committee to vet the candidates for this position. The caliber of the applicants was outstanding, and Dr. Staben rose to the top of that highly qualified field. The Board is looking forward to working with Chuck to ensure that the University of Idaho continues its long tradition of excellence.”

“"Land grant universities, including the University of Idaho, improve lives and strengthen our society,” said Staben. “Leading this University is a privilege that I value deeply.”

Staben will take over from Interim President Don Burnett, who was selected to serve in that role in March 2013 after Dr. Duane Nellis accepted a position as President at Texas Tech. “The Board is extremely grateful to Don Burnett for his leadership during this time of transition,” said Soltman. “Don’s ability to step in and guide the University was invaluable in ensuring that the University continued to function smoothly and efficiently during the search for a new president.”

The 16-member presidential search committee, chaired by Board Vice President Emma Atchley, began work on finding a permanent replacement for Nellis in April 2013. Staben was named one of five finalists for the position in September. He visited UI campus locations and met with stakeholders around the state in October.

Staben will start on March 1, 2014, with a three year contract at an annual salary of $350,000.

Additional information on Dr. Staben’s background and academic history is available on the University of Idaho presidential web site at

To learn more about the Board of Regents for the University of Idaho and the Idaho State Board of Education, visit


Chuck Staben has served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of South Dakota since August 2008. Since 2008, the University has increased enrollment, retention, and graduation as well as research grants. Dr. Staben helped guide the University through state funding declines and helped lead its transition to a Responsibility Center Management budget model.

Dr. Staben served as the Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Kentucky from 2005-2009, acting as Vice President in 2007-2008. Prior to that appointment, he was the Department Chair of Biology at the University of Kentucky from 2000-2004 and a Biology Professor at the same institution from 1989- 2008. Previously he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford University from 1987-1989, at Chiron Research Laboratories from 1985-1986 and a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of California, Berkeley from 1978-1984.

Dr. Staben's research focused on fungal developmental biology, bioinformatics, and fungal genomics. Dr. Staben received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies. He has served on NSF and NIH grant review panels and recently served on a National Research Council committee that reviewed the EPSCoR and IDEA programs for the US Senate. Staben taught microbiology, genetics, bioinformatics, and introductory biology and he received numerous awards for teaching. Staben received a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in 1978 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984. He is originally from Waukegan, Illinois.

Dr. Staben and his wife, Mary Beth Staben, have three children. Mac is completing a Masters in political philosophy at Boston College and will begin his MD/PhD at Boston University next fall; Cal is completing a Bachelors in Art History at the University of Kentucky and will begin his MD next fall; and their daughter Rae is a sophomore at Stanford University. Dr. Mary Beth Staben currently practices internal medicine as a hospitalist in Lexington, Kentucky.

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit