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Charles (Chuck) Staben Professor of Biology


Chuck Staben took office as the 18th president of the University Idaho March 1, 2014.

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

Prior to his service at South Dakota, 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 a professor of biology from 1989- 2008 and served as the chair of the biology department from 2000-2004. Previously he was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University from 1987-1989 and at Chiron Research Laboratories from 1985-1986. He was also a graduate research and teaching assistant at the University of California, Berkeley from 1978-1984.

Staben's research focused on fungal developmental biology, bioinformatics, and fungal genomics. He received grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and other agencies.  He has served on National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health grant review panels and recently served on a National Research Council committee that reviewed the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and the Institutional Development Award programs for the U.S. 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.

Staben and his wife, Dr. Mary Beth Staben, have three college-aged children: Mac, Cal and Rae. Mary Beth is a practicing physician of internal medicine.


selected publications



education and training

  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley , Thesis: Characterization of C1-Tetrahydrofolate Synthase, Product of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ADE3 Gene 1984
  • B.S. in Biochemistry, University of Illinois 1978
  • Stanford University , Biology Department, Characterization of the Neurospora crassa mating type locus (Dr. Charles Yanofsky, Advisor) 1987 - 1989
  • Chiron Corporation , Virology Department, Nature and significance of sequence variation of the AIDS virus (Dr. Dino Dina, Advisor) 1985 - 1986


full name

  • Charles (Chuck) Staben