POCATELLO – Idaho State University political science Professor and Chair Donna Lybecker has been named ISU’s acting vice president for research and economic development.
In this role, Lybecker will work with faculty, students and staff to achieve the university mission of contributing to local, regional, national and international research agendas. Lybecker stepped into her new position on July 1 and will serve for 18 months.
“This opportunity means I get to help ISU not only build our research agendas, but also help individuals at ISU find other researchers with whom their work overlaps,” Lybecker said. “A broader view of the possibilities of interdisciplinary research is one of the things about which I am most excited.”
In this role, Lybecker plans to work with researchers to understand the changing landscape of research opportunities, including the need for cross-disciplinary approaches to problem solving. She hopes to promote inter- and multi-disciplinary research and support research across the arts, sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, medical professions and technological fields.
“I have asked that she begin working with our research community to identify and remove roadblocks faculty may encounter to their research productivity, to conduct a comprehensive review of our research policies and processes, and to help our campus community identify the optimal role of research at Idaho State University,” said Kevin Satterlee, ISU president.
Idaho State University launched a search for its next vice president for research and economic development in 2019. In January of this year, university leadership decided to cancel the search and reevaluate its approach, appointing Lybecker in her 18-month position.
“I get to help ISU not only build our research agendas, but also help individuals at ISU find other researchers with whom their work overlaps,” Lybecker said.
Lybecker previously served as the ISU science co-lead for the NSF EPSCoR Managing Idaho’s Landscapes for Ecosystem Services (MILES) project grant. She is a member of the United States Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Committee and an associate editor for the Social Science Journal and the International Journal for Sustainable Society.
“The possibility of making connections among students, faculty, staff, regional agencies and industry along with future employers is exciting,” she said. “I believe gaining a broader understanding of what ISU can and does provide, and helping to shape the narrative of the importance of not only having technical skills but also having a broad education, will be an important aspect of the position.”