Buck Up, Coeur d’Alene: U-Idaho Northern Operations in Good Hands
Molecular biologist by training and researcher and administrator by trade. Charles Buck is strengthening community ties in Coeur d’Alene as the University’s new associate vice president and center executive officer for northern Idaho-Coeur d’Alene.
“As I get more involved in administration, it’s become obvious that universities are going to have to change to remain viable,” says Buck. “If we’re not able to have a tangible impact in the community, we won’t see support.”
It’s with this belief that Buck is working with local community stakeholders; not to tell them what the University can do for them, but instead, asking what they need from the University.
“We need to build on our existing strengths, nurture our partnerships. We have a great opportunity to reach out to the community and see how best to connect,” says Buck. “We need to make the University vital for the average citizen. There’s a lot we can bring to the table.”
His goal is to raise awareness for the University’s northern Idaho operations’ role to serve as a portal to the University of Idaho, figure out how the University can best serve the community and let stakeholders know the University is available for help.
“The Coeur d’Alene center requires a highly skilled individual to direct its extensive array of programs operated in the public interest,” says University President M. Duane Nellis. “Charles Buck’s work will be essential in building community relations; enhancing enrollment; assessing community needs; bridging the public and private sectors; linking with our regional extension offices; facilitating research; and being liaison with the main campus.”
As Buck works on those relationships, he is also excited to be coordinating the University’s Research Park in Post Falls and facilitating new company formations and research opportunities with corporate partners. He will be working in collaboration with the vice president for research and economic development.
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“I’m excited by the opportunity to help the University of Idaho’s mission come alive in northern Idaho – it’s perfectly poised for innovative steps forward that will connect research and teaching with external constituents,” says Buck.
With a month on the job under his belt and students starting classes next week, Buck says he is depending on a great team of staff and faculty at the center to start the new school year off right.
“We have a great team up here and the academic side is in good hands,” says Buck. “We’re adding value and scholarship in Northern Idaho.”
While he is soaking up the atmosphere and scenery in Coeur d’Alene, being an Idaho resident is not a new development for the Caldwell native. He earned his bachelor of science degree from the College of Idaho and a doctorate in molecular neurobiology from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences.
Prior to his position as director of operations at Purdue University’s Bindley Bioscience Center at Purdue, he was the chief scientific officer for Oridis Biomed in Graz, Austria; an assistant professor of cell biology and anatomy at the Medical University of South Carolina; and an assistant professor of physiology at Emory University School of Medicine.
His research focuses on the molecular biology of vertebrate nervous system development and response to injury; he also studies Alzheimer’s disease, human liver diseases, bio-repository science and cancer. His research has been funded through grants from the National Institute of Health, the American Paralysis Association and the European Commission.
Buck succeeds interim AVP/CEO Richard Reardon, professor of psychology and associate dean for the University’s College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences based at Coeur d’Alene. Reardon succeeded long-time AVP/CEO Larry Branen, who retired.