Kinchel Doerner, current dean of the Graduate School at South Dakota State University, will serve as the interim vice president of research and economic development effective Jan. 1. Kevin Kephart held the vice president position before announcing last week his plans to retire.
Doerner came to SDSU in 2012 as dean of the Graduate School. He also holds a position as professor of biology and microbiology. Previously, Doerner spent 16 years at Western Kentucky University, initially as an assistant professor of biology before working his way to the rank of full professor in 2010. He was also the associate dean of graduate studies and research from 2010-12.
“Kinchel brings an extensive research portfolio to the position and will be a valuable resource during this time of transition,” SDSU President Barry Dunn said. “As we look ahead to our next strategic planning process, research will be a critical component in moving the university forward. Kinchel will be involved in those early discussions and provide valuable insight and leadership in determining the goals and strategic direction.”
Doerner’s research portfolio includes numerous grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation. Beginning in 2005, he was funded by the USDA over a 5-year period for more than $425,000 to study skatole-producing microorganisms that cause malodors in animal waste and boar taint in swine. Boar taint is the offensive odor or taste that can be evident during the cooking or eating of pork. Doerner also received funding from the USDA over a four-year period for research on bacterial phosphate metabolism in poultry litter.
“I am honored by the opportunity to fill this important role at SDSU and build on the accomplishments of the office and researchers here,” Doerner said. “This is an important time for SDSU, as we will begin the process in January of developing a new strategic plan and identifying key research goals that will help define the future of the university.”
Doerner has published dozens of national and international abstracts and peer-reviewed publications. He was a visiting scientist in 1989 in the Department of Biochemistry at the Cambridge Research Station in Cambridge, England. He currently is an elected trustee on the Council of Graduate Schools, the national organization for the graduate school deans, and also serves on the executive committee for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools.
In addition to continuing as dean of the Graduate School, Doerner will oversee the Division of Research and Economic Development that includes research administration, compliance with state and federal regulations, federal government relations, technology transfer and economic development.