As they search for another executive director, S.D. regents make job description less rigid

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The next executive director that the South Dakota Board of Regents decides to hire will have to live in the Pierre area only during the three months the Legislature is in session and will need only a master degree.

The regents made those policy changes during a teleconference Thursday. The move toward a little more flexibility comes as the board conducts the fourth search in 12 years for a chief officer, who will oversee South Dakota’s eight state university campuses, as well as two K-12 schools for students with hearing and vision disabilities.

The CEO position is open until filled, according to a posting on the regents system’s website, but anyone wanting the job faces a May 27 deadline for an application to receive full consideration.

The regents are looking to replace Paul Beran, who came from Arkansas in 2018 but didn’t get a renewal offer.

A list of what the regents originally expected from Beran was still on the system website Friday afternoon.

Shortly after Beran’s hiring less than three years ago, several veteran administrators left the system’s central office.

Paul Turman, who had been regents vice president for academic affairs since 2014, took a new post January 1, 2019, as chancellor for the Nebraska State College System. Monte Kramer, regents vice president for finance and administration since 2000, retired September 27, 2019. Both had doctorates.

Beran as well as at least the three men who were in the job before him held doctorates, too. The regents decided Thursday to amend their policy to align with state law and require the next director have only a graduate degree. No one asked a question, nor any discussion, before the 9-0 vote.

The regents’ longest-serving executive director, Robert “Tad” Perry, who came from Indiana, was executive director 1994-2005 and 2005-2009. He upset some regents in 2005 by taking advantage of a retire-rehire provision that at the time let him get both a full salary and full retirement pay.

Jack Warner, who came from Rhode Island, held the post 2009-2015 and retired. Perry had endorsed his selection. Mike Rush, who came from Idaho, served 2015-2018. He wasn’t offered a renewal. Warner and Rush held doctorates.

Beran’s salary for the current year was $338,250. The range shown for the new hire is $280,000 to $320,000.

Janelle Toman, the regents director of communications, said Friday the central office and staff will remain in Pierre going forward.

CORRECTION: This story originally misstated that Tad Perry had only a graduate degree. He has a doctorate degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Reporter Bob Mercer apologizes for the error.

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