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FILE - Utah State University’s board of trustees has approved a recommendation to divide the Office of Research and Graduate Studies into two separate entities: the Office of Research and the USU School of Graduate Studies.

LOGAN — Utah State University’s board of trustees has approved a recommendation to divide the Office of Research and Graduate Studies into two separate entities: the Office of Research and the USU School of Graduate Studies.

“We decided to make these changes following months of discussion and after receiving a great deal of feedback from our deans and faculty members from across campus,” USU President Noelle Cockett said in a statement. “These modifications will help improve efficiency and better meet the needs of our growing institution moving forward.”

Larry Smith, who has been acting as the interim vice president for research and dean of graduate studies, will continue serving as interim vice president for research, and he will continue to report to the president’s office.

The administrative management of the School of Graduate Studies has been moved to the executive vice president and provost’s office. Richard Inouye, who has been serving as the associate vice president for research and associate dean of graduates studies, will now function as vice provost of graduate studies and report to USU Provost Frank Galey.

Inouye joined the USU Office of Research and Graduate Studies in February 2013, after spending more than five years as a program officer in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation. A graduate of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Inouye completed his doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona and went on to serve as a professor of ecology at Idaho State University.

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Smith has been serving as the interim vice president and dean of graduate studies since August 2018, after spending the previous 18 months as the interim provost. Smith also has a background in biology and taught at Idaho State University for 14 years before coming to USU, where he served as the interim dean of the School of Graduate Studies from 2004-06, and as senior vice provost from 2006-16.

A search for a permanent vice president for research is expected to be announced by Cockett and Galey within the next nine months.