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Regents Launch Search for Next Executive Director





News Release

Contacts: Mike Rush, Executive Director and CEO


Janelle Toman, Director of Communications



Telephone: (605) 773-3455

Fax: (605) 773-5320



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday, May 17, 2018


Regents Launch Search for Next Executive Director


PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Board of Regents invites nominations and applications for the position of executive director and chief executive officer. The board also has announced a constituent panel to assist the regents in reviewing candidates for the position.


Board President Bob Sutton says the regents seek a highly-qualified individual to build upon a sound statewide academic tradition, supporting the higher education needs of a student population numbering 36,600 and a faculty and staff of about 5,100.


“This position offers great opportunity to an individual who will bring confident, discerning, and stable leadership to South Dakota's public system of higher education, consisting of the state's six broadly diverse public universities and two special schools,” Sutton said.


The constituent panel represents groups who work within and closely with the public university system. Accepting appointment to the constituent panel are the following:


  • Faculty Members—Robb Winter, department head and professor, SDSM&T Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Urla Marcus, director, BHSU Center for American Indian Studies; and Dave Grettler, NSU professor of history.
  • Student Members—Teagan McNary, USD; Tyler Harris, NSU; and Nick Alholinna, DSU.
  • Institutional Executives—SDSU President Barry Dunn; DSU President José-Marie Griffiths; Marje Kaiser, superintendent of the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the South Dakota School for the Deaf.
  • Institutional Administrators—Venky Venkatachalam, dean of the USD Beacom School of Business; Heather Forney, SDSM&T controller and director of finance; Dennis Hedge, SDSU provost and vice president for academic affairs.
  • Foundations, Alumni, and Industry—Steve Meeker, BHSU vice president for university advancement; Rich Naser, president of Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship, Sioux Falls; Dan Rykhus, CEO of Raven Industries, Sioux Falls.
  • Board System Staff—Janelle Toman, director of communications; Nathan Lukkes, assistant vice president for research and economic development; Guilherme Costa, general counsel.
  • State Legislature—Rep. Timothy Johns, Lead; Sen. Jeff Partridge, Rapid City; Sen. Brock Greenfield, Clark; Rep. Dan Ahlers, Dell Rapids.
  • Governor’s Staff Representative—Liza Clark, commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management.
  • Department of Education—Secretary Don Kirkegaard.
  • Board of Technical Education—Diana VanderWoude, Sioux Falls.


The next executive director will succeed Michael G. Rush, who leaves the South Dakota higher education system later this month.


The search is being assisted by James McCormick, Janice Fitzgerald, and Tom Layzell of AGB Search. Applications and nominations are being accepted until June 18. For more information about the search process and instructions for applications and nominating candidates, visit https://www.sdbor.edu/execsearch/Pages/default.aspx.