Higher-ed campuses from Black Hills area recently held summit

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Presidents representing public and private higher-education institutions in western South Dakota and Nebraska gathered recently for what’s been described as a first-ever summit.

Six presidents attended the March 29 gathering in Rapid City, according to Kimberly Talcott, coordinator of news and media relations at Black Hills State University in Spearfish.

She said they discussed ways to meet future employment needs in the region, such as sharing adjunct professors.

The group plans to meet every two months. The next sesson will be in Chadron, Nebraska.

Those at the West River Summit included: Black Hills State University President Tom Jackson, Jr; Chadron State College President Randy Rhine; National American University President Ronald Shape of Rapid City; Sinte Gleska University President Lionel Bordeaux of Mission; South Dakota School of Mines and Technology President James Rankin of Rapid City; and Western Dakota Technical Institute President Ann Bolman of Rapid City.

Another member who couldn’t attend was Oglala Lakota College President Thomas Shortbull of Kyle.

Jackson said in a statement afterward they represent a diverse group with a common interest of providing the best options to students.

Jackson also oversees the Rapid City campus of Black Hills State University.

“From regional universities, to a technical institute, a for-profit institution, and tribal colleges, it’s very special that all of us were able to come together to talk about issues affecting students and faculty” Jackson said.

Said Rhine: “We are different institutions but we share common ground and common issues. For example, we will continue to educate students but the tools and technology we use to do so will continue to change. Knowing each of these leaders shares that interest and that concern is important.”

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