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USD Provost Chuck Staben named president at University of Idaho

Kurt Hackemer, associate vice president for academic affairs, to serve as interim provost

“We are grateful to Dr. Staben for his five years of service to the University of South Dakota, particularly his work with our faculty and his development of programs like the American Visiting Institute for Chinese Entrepreneurs, which has opened the doors of USD to the world,” Abbott said. “We certainly wish him well in his new role at Idaho.”

Staben was among five finalists for the president’s job at Idaho. His appointment was approved today by the Idaho Board of Education, and he will begin his duties in Moscow, Idaho, on March 1, 2013.

Kurt Hackemer, USD's associate vice president for academic affairs, will serve as interim provost, Abbott said. Hackemer was named chair of the USD Department of History this fall. He has been a history professor at USD since 1996 and has held various administrative roles on campus since 2007.

“I have enjoyed my time at the university, and I will miss colleagues, students, and friends,” Staben said. “I would like to thank President Abbott for this opportunity and for his support and mentorship. I know that Kurt Hackemer will be an extraordinary interim Provost. Thanks to all.”

USD will move quickly to launch a search for a new provost and vice president of academic affairs, Abbott said.

Staben came to USD in 2008 from the University of Kentucky, where he was the acting vice president for research. He also served as chair of the biology department at Kentucky, where he started his teaching career in 1989. Staben is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and did postdoctoral research at Chiron Research Laboratories and Stanford University. Download a photo of Staben.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News