South Dakota State University invites applications and nominations for the position of South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.    

About the University

South Dakota State University (SDSU) is dedicated to exceptional teaching and learning, scholarship, research, creative activity, and transference of knowledge through Extension programming for the benefit of students, community and the citizens of South Dakota and beyond.  With almost 600 faculty, serving nearly 13,000 students, SDSU offers a diverse number of academic colleges including: College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Sciences, Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, University College, Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College and the Graduate School. 

SDSU is defined as a “Doctoral University, Higher Research Activity” within the Carnegie Classification and in 2014 was designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.  As the state’s 1862 land-grant university, SDSU plays a key leadership role in the state and the region in conducting research, disseminating knowledge, supporting innovation and business incubation, forming partnerships with industry, and advocating for economic growth and development.  SDSU awards graduate degrees through 15 Ph.D. and 33 Master’s programs and has the most active university research program in the state with more than $58 million in annual research expenditures. 

Brookings, South Dakota, located just 48 miles north of Sioux Falls, is a progressive and growing community with numerous industry partners and is the 4th largest city in South Dakota.  In 2015, Brookings was named the safest college town in the nation.  SDSU is proud to be part of one of the best communities in the country.


SDSU offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access inspired student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. 


As a leading land-grant university, SDSU champions the public good through engaged learning, bold and innovative research and creative activities, and stewardship within a global society.  The University’s strategic plan, Impact 2018, is the five-year strategic plan that enhances the future of South Dakota and its citizens while meeting the challenges of an increasingly global, complex and interconnected society.  The plan draws on the university’s strengths and commitment to excellence, creating a pathway to the future as a high-performing institution that delivers exceptional value to students and stakeholders.  The plan’s goals focus on academic excellence, research and innovation, outreach through Extension and being a higher-performing university.  For more information, visit

South Dakota Board of Regents

SDSU is one of six universities in an integrated system of higher education in South Dakota governed by a single board of regents.  The BOR, appointed by the Governor, has constitutional authority to govern the system of public higher education in the state.  The BOR provides leadership and sets policies for the programs and services delivered through its six universities and two special schools. 

About The College

The College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences is one of eight colleges within South Dakota State University.  The College has a three-fold mission to teach, conduct research, and use extension programs to serve people in South Dakota, the nation, and the world.  The College is made up of eight academic departments: agricultural and biosystems engineering; animal science; biology and microbiology; dairy and food science; economics; natural resource management; agronomy, horticulture, and plant science; and veterinary and biomedical sciences, serving 2,516 students.  

In addition to the main campus in Brookings, the West River Ag Center in Rapid City is an outreach facility of the college that supports teaching, research, and extension in the western part of the state.  Other locations throughout the state include eight regional extension centers, three Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program offices, and six research field stations.

In 2016, The College was awarded $20.8M in research grants and contracts.  In addition, SDSU is home to many world-class research and teaching facilities including, the Animal Disease and Research Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL), the Cow/Calf Education and Research Facility and the Swine Education and Research Facility.  The ADRDL is the state animal health laboratory, which works closely with the SD Department of Health and the SD Animal Industry Board to solve animal and human health issues.  Also, the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development Center for Biologics Research & Commercialization is also administered through the College.  More information about the College can be found at

Role and Responsibilities

The Dean, who reports to the Provost, serves as the chief academic officer for the College, provides leadership to the Agricultural Experiment Station and Extension, and oversees the college’s administrative functions including budget, facilities and several service units.  SDSU seeks an innovative leader with vision and strong leadership skills, who is committed to establishing collaborative relationships, fosters an environment in which faculty and stakeholders are engaged partners and communicates consistently and effectively. 

The Dean works directly with the President on legislative and stakeholder matters affecting the College and is a member of Academic Council whose collaborative leadership is contributing to a dynamic university that is on a fast-paced, upward trajectory.  In addition, the Dean’s role is an endowed position through the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.  This principal endowment of $2M provides opportunity for investment in programmatic and research initiatives of strategic importance to SDSU and South Dakota.  The Dean will have the opportunity to provide support to emerging opportunities identified by leadership and stakeholders of the College to support continued growth and excellence.  

The ideal candidate should have an earned terminal degree and evidence of scholarly, professional, or creative achievement sufficient to qualify for tenure at the rank of Professor. In addition, it is preferred, the successful candidate possess the following qualifications:

  • A strong track record of extramurally funded research;
  • A record of successful academic leadership with a knowledge of, appreciation for and commitment to the philosophy and programs of a land-grant institution;
  • A bold vision for the future of agriculture and biological sciences and its implications on  workforce development in the State of South Dakota;
  • Capacity to identify, recruit and retain strong leadership and faculty in the College;  
  • A nimble strategist with a proven record of envisioning, developing and sustaining innovative programs that foster excellence in teaching, increased research and service;
  • Ability to lead and advocate for the College, agriculture and biological sciences in the State of South Dakota in leveraging relationships into teaching, research and extension;
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing large, complex budgets, fiscal matters, strategic planning and personnel management;
  • A track record of successful fundraising and talent for identifying entrepreneurial opportunities;
  • An effective collaborator and consensus builder who can communicate with multiple constituencies and enable partnerships with other colleges and universities, government agencies, commodity groups, stakeholders, and corporations;
  • Sustain close working relationships with county and state leaders and elected officials;
  • Ability to connect the College with important areas of opportunity within the University;
  • Commitment to the diversity of students, faculty, and staff and to advancing an inclusive climate that stimulates excellence;
  • Ability to understand current issues and trends in agriculture and biological sciences within the broader context of a land-grant university and the State of South Dakota;
  • Strong communicator and commitment to openness, collaboration and shared decision-making.

Application Process

Nominations and applications (letter of interest, resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest can be submitted to the search firm assisting the University.  Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made.  It is preferred that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to October 4, 2017. 

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Parker Executive Search
770-804-1996 ext: 109 ||

South Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and has a strong institutional commitment to diversity.  Women, minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.  SDSU’s policies, programs and activities comply with federal and state laws and South Dakota Board of Regents regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, gender, gender identify and/or expression of sexual orientation.

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