Public Universities and Special Schools

Pierre, South Dakota


The South Dakota Board of Regents invites applications and nominations for an Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Board seeks a highly qualified individual to boldly and efficiently 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. The position offers great opportunity to an individual who will bring confident, discerning, and stable leadership to South Dakota's public system of higher education. The system's annual operating budget is nearly $800 million dollars. The South Dakota Board of Regents is the governing body for the state's six broadly diverse universities, two special schools, and three university centers. All of the universities and schools are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  


The Executive Director is expected to bring a deep knowledge of higher education management and organizational skills to the system. This individual should be a bold, forward-thinking, imaginative leader with an understanding of national higher education trends and policy issues. The candidate must be an innovative, entrepreneurial, and fair administrator of the highest integrity. She or he will have demonstrated collaborative skills and be able to establish statewide partnerships, as well as bring systemwide constituencies together for the purpose of advancing the work of the South Dakota Board of Regents. The Executive Director and CEO will be committed fully to what the system offers to individuals of all ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds, as well as the system's goal of preparing the workforce and an educated citizenry for the state. She or he will join with the Board of Regents and the presidents/superintendent to be a vocal advocate for the system and the entire public higher education community.


  • Demonstrated record of success in fiscal management, budgeting, and funding models;
  • Savvy and experience in leading public policy development in a complex political environment;
  • Appreciation for the mission, characteristics, and distinctive qualities of a highly diverse system of universities and schools;
  • Capacity to support and encourage collaborative relationships among and between system entities;
  • Direct experience working with diverse constituencies, including the legislature and state agencies, tribal nations, technical colleges, K-12, businesses, agriculture leaders, and residents from all parts of the state;
  • Strong working knowledge of information technology capabilities and applications;
  • Excellent communication skills with ability to be a champion, face, and voice of the system;
  • Inspiring, supportive team player and team builder, balancing presidential leadership with Board office staff responsibilities;
  • Wherewithal to listen carefully, communicate openly, and embrace the culture of the state;
  • Commitment to guiding and carrying out the Board of Regents' vision, mission and policies;
  • Experience in board development and effectiveness;
  • Significant senior level administrative work in a higher education/system setting (preferred); and
  • Advanced degree required (terminal degree preferred).


To assure consideration, applications must be received by June 18, 2018. The application must include a letter of interest of not more than three pages; a current résumé (or curriculum vitae); and the names of five professional references with each person's position, office or home address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers.

Applications will remain confidential. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant. The new Executive Director will assume office on September 1, 2018 (or earlier).

The search is being assisted by James McCormick, Janice Fitzgerald, and Tom Layzell, Executive Search Consultants, AGB Search. Nominations and applications should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to sdborexecsearch@agbsearch.com. Additional South Dakota Board of Regents information may be found at www.sdbor.edu. The consultants may be contacted at 651-238-5188, jim.mccormick@agbsearch.com; 717-580-0663, janice.fitzgerald@agbsearch.com; and 217-691-0462, tom.layzell@agbsearch.com.

The South Dakota Board of Regents is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Board of Regents will take Affirmative Action to ensure that all employment practices are free of discrimination. In addition, the Board of Regents fully supports incorporation of non-discrimination and Affirmative Action rules and regulations into all of its employment practices. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by contacting AGB Search.