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Regents’ Executive Director to Step Down





News Release

Contacts: Janelle Toman, Director of Communications


Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst



Telephone: (605) 773-3455

Fax: (605) 773-5320




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, March 16, 2020


Regents’ Executive Director to Step Down


PIERRE, S.D. – Paul B. Beran, executive director and CEO of the South Dakota Board of Regents since 2018, announced today he will be leaving the Board of Regents at the end of his current contract, which runs through June 2020.


“I have appreciated the last several years working for the Board of Regents, but the board has informed me they want to go a different direction in leadership and I fully understand their right to exercise that change,” Beran said. “I stand ready to help in the transition as the board repositions itself.


“I have enjoyed getting to work with members of the board, the presidents and superintendent, legislative leadership, and representatives from Gov. Noem’s administration, whom I have worked with over the last two legislative sessions. South Dakota should be proud of its higher education system. All six universities and the two special schools serve the state in a highly coordinated, efficient approach that utilizes shared services in a way that is the envy of many state systems," he said.


“The board would like to thank Dr. Beran for his service to our state. He has helped prepare the system to move forward to find greater efficiency and effectiveness in future operations. As the system evolves, the Board of Regents is ready to analyze the system’s functionality in new and innovative ways,” said Regents President Kevin V. Schieffer. “The board wishes him well as he transitions into future opportunities.”


Schieffer added that the Board of Regents will announce next steps for the appointment of a new executive director after its April 1-2 regular meeting.


Beran said that much has been accomplished over the last two legislative sessions, especially with new opportunities for individual institutions and collaborative programs that include multiple institutions.


Dakota State University will advance a high-tech, cyber-focused connection with business and industry by developing a business incubator around technology-based needs, he said. “South Dakota State University and the School of Mines and Technology are working together to develop the Governor’s “next big thing” initiative for bio-products produced from farm and forestry products in South Dakota. The University of South Dakota received state funding to help build a 21st century health sciences facility to prepare our next generation of health care providers. In addition, Black Hills State University, SDSU, USD, and Western Dakota Tech are collaborating to increase the number of nursing and healthcare professionals in western South Dakota,” Beran said.


During his tenure here, Beran helped hire a new president at Black Hills State University and a new superintendent for the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  “I am sure the new and current institutional leaders will provide synergy for positive change and forward movement across this state,” he said.


Prior to his time in South Dakota, Beran served as chancellor for the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith for 12 years and for five years as president at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.