Maher unanimously approved as new CEO for S.D. regents

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Board of Regents unanimously approved Brian Maher as the new executive director and chief executive officer Wednesday. He starts July 6.

Regent Kevin Schieffer of Sioux Falls nominated Maher, who is retiring this summer as superintendent of the Sioux Falls School District. Schieffer said it was “a great honor.”

Schieffer said several Sioux Falls School Board members recommended Maher, including president Cynthia Mickelson. “We know we have a good one,” Schieffer said.

Maher was listening to the teleconference meeting. Regents board president John Bastian of Belle Fourche welcomed Maher after the 9-0 vote. “It’s really great to have you now officially appointed,” Bastian said.

“I probably should just say thank you and stop,” Maher responded. “Thanks for the vote of confidence, all of you.”

Maher told the state board he would start with a tour of the public university campuses and the special K-12 schools for the deaf and the visually impaired.

He plans to meet either face to face or via teleconference with each regent and said he has already heard from some people with interests in higher education matters.

“I think we can do really good things for this state, and I look forward to that,” Maher said. He added that he’s already been in contact with several members of the regents’ central office staff.

Maher planned to listen to the rest of the regents’ meeting Wednesday. The university presidents and special-schools superintendents were presenting their initial budget requests for the fiscal 2022 budget that starts July 1, 2021. The Legislature will decide the final amounts in March.

Maher replaces Paul Beran, who wasn’t retained. The regents formally opened the search April 15 and announced the unofficial selection of Maher on June 18. Maher had announced his retirement in December.

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