Steven Daley-Laursen

Steven Daley-Laursen

Senior Executive to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Professor, Department of Forest Ecology and Biogeosciences
University of Idaho

Steven B. Daley-Laursen is currently senior executive to the Vice President for Research and Economic development and professor in the College of Natural Resources. He served as interim president of the University of Idaho in 2008-09 and as dean of the College of Natural Resources from 2002 to 2008.

Dr. Daley-Laursen has 31 years of experience working in land-grant universities. He began his career as a research associate at the University of Idaho in 1979. He was jointly appointed at Montana State University and the University of Montana from 1984-88, as assistant professor and natural resources extension specialist. From 1988 to 2002, he worked at the University of Minnesota in several capacities, including associate dean in the College of Natural Resources, professor of natural resource, director and co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership, director of the statewide Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships Program, director of the Sea Grant College, program leader for Natural Resources and Environment Programs with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, and special assistant to the president for outreach and engagement strategic planning. In 2002, he became dean and professor for the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho.
As senior executive the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Dr. Daley-Laursen provides leadership for the development and advancement of multi-disciplinary, signature research and outreach programs, assists the vice president in the implementation of research office reforms and development of research infrastructure, and is active in federal, state and agency relations.

As president of the University of Idaho, Dr. Daley-Laursen led the institution on a active, strategic course through one the most challenging economic conditions in U.S. history, focusing on four strategic goals: student transformation; interdisciplinary scholarly and creative activity; high impact outreach and engagement with communities and industries; and achieving a sustainable fiscal operation and workplace climate. During his tenure, the institution made significant advances in diversity, workplace sustainability and fiscal management, reorganized strategic budgeting and planning, received national recognition for its leadership in student service programs and the arts, was continuously ranked as one the highest values in higher education in the nation, landed the two largest research grants in the state’s history, launched a landmark community revitalization program, and dramatically increased private giving to scholarships.

As dean of the College of Natural Resources, Dr. Daley-Laursen oversaw a college of five academic departments, 800 graduate and undergraduate students and 140 faculty and staff. Under his leadership, the college established the nation’s first undergraduate wildland fire ecology/management program, the Reveley Geo-Spatial Technologies Complex and the new University Herbarium. The college houses the Laboratory for Conservation and Ecological Genetics, Taylor Ranch Field Research Station in the Frank Church Wilderness and the McCall Outdoor Science School for Idaho youth.

Dr. Daley-Laursen’s scholarly activities have focused on leadership theory in natural resource management and environmental education; technology transfer processes between scientists and management agencies; and organizational and institutional design for sustainable development and sustainability. He has worked throughout the United States and in 13 other countries. He received the USDA Secretary’s National Honor Award for his work on an environmental science education program on the White Earth Indian Reservation. Dr. Daley-Laursen was an inaugural fellow in the Mondale Emerging Leaders Public Policy Program at the University of Minnesota, and an inaugural fellow in the Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Development Program for Higher Education Administrators at the University of Wisconsin. He was the national public policy chair for the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs, chair of the 2009 NASULGC (APLU) National Task Force on the Farm Bill Forestry Title, and has held several leadership positions at the national, state and local levels in the Society of American Foresters and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

Dr. Daley-Laursen studied international relations at the College of William and Mary, and earned a bachelor's in conservation and resource development from the University of Maryland. He earned a master’s in forest resources management and a doctorate in forest science from the University of Idaho in 1979 and 1984, respectively. He and his spouse, Dianne, and their daughter and son enjoy outdoor recreation, community volunteerism and service, and immersion in cultures and geography around the world.