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INSTITUTE, WV -

Robert J. Barney recently was promoted to interim assistant vice president for research and public service at West Virginia State University.

Barney will continue to serve as associate dean and associate director of the university's Agricultural and Environmental Research Station, a position he has held since 2010.

Prior to joining WVSU, Barney worked as associate director for research at Kentucky State University. 

He earned his bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of Illinois, his master of science degree, also in zoology, from Eastern Illinois University and his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Kentucky. 

His work has been published in more than 60 scholarly journals. He writes about topics including integrated pest management, biological control, beetle taxonomy, biodiversity, environmental assessment and conservation.

In his expanded role at the school, Barney will be responsible for the development of essential research policies, research-related publications, fiscal affairs, oversight of research committees, research compliance and sponsored programs.