Koob had been senior vice president and vice president for academic affairs at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, California, since 1990.
President Koob was born in 1941 in Graettinger, Iowa. He graduated from the State College of Iowa (UNI) in 1962 with a B. A. in chemistry. After receiving his B. A., President Koob was a high school mathematics and science teacher in Moville, Iowa. Later he was a teaching assistant at the University of Kansas and held two research positions there before receiving his Ph. D. in chemistry from that institution in 1967.
In 1967 he began teaching chemistry at North Dakota State University as an assistant professor. By 1972 he had achieved the rank of professor. At North Dakota State, President Koob served in several different positions including vice president for academic affairs and interim president.
As undergraduates at UNI, President Koob and his wife, Yvonne, lived in Quonset huts in Sunset Village, the married student housing area; when they returned to UNI, they lived in the President's House. President Koob and his wife had seven children. He enjoyed reading science fiction, spending time with his family, and playing racquetball.
On October 12, 2005, President Koob announced his intention to retire from the presidency at the end of the 2005-2006 academic year. He served through May 2006.
Compiled by Susan Witthoft; edited by Gerald L. Peterson
Special Collections and University Archives