“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.

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