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Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Black Hills State University
South Dakota, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Jan 21, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Chief Academic Officers & Vice Presidents, Executive, Provosts
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Black Hills State University seeks a Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
Click here to view position profile:
Location: Spearfish, South Dakota 

The Position:
Black Hills State University invites nominations for and inquiries and applications from individuals interested in assuming a transformational leadership opportunity as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The new Provost/VPAA will have the opportunity to be part of the new dynamic president’s administrative team led by Dr. Laurie Nichols. It is a tremendous opportunity to work in collaboration with President Nichols as she finalizes and implements the strategic planning process this spring. 

It is an exciting time to make a difference for all constituents of Black Hills State University. A highly qualified Provost will develop trust and enthusiastic partnerships with the President, the dedicated community of administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, and students in the years of growth and development ahead for BHSU. They will be a catalyst for strengthening ties between the University and workforce developments throughout the region.

The following leadership agenda summarizes the opportunities and expectations for the new provost. As the chief academic officer for BHSU, the provost will: 

  • Serve as a consistent positive voice for faculty, students, and the President to prioritize, develop, and implement academic priorities.
  • Coordinate effective collaboration among the three colleges, community members, multiple campus settings, operational units of BHSU, regional universities, community colleges, and the Board of Regents.
  • Oversee the Opportunity Center to ensure that exceptional programming and support are accessible to all students.
  • Provide strategic visioning and implementation within a challenging financial environment. 

Required Qualifications:

  • An earned terminal degree from an accredited institution.
  • Successful higher education teaching experience, having earned tenure or its equivalent.
  • Relevant and successful administrative leadership experience with progressively increasing responsibility within the higher education community.
  • Demonstrated experience working with and developing personnel. 

Desired Experience, Knowledge, and Leadership Characteristics:
There is a clear desire among all constituents for a passionate, engaged, dynamic, thoughtful, and caring leader who has the capacity for bringing people together, inspiring and moving them to action in advancing the mission of Black Hills State University. For a full list of the preferred qualities please review the Position Profile. 

About the Institution:
Black Hills State University is a part of the South Dakota unified system of public higher education. The Board of Regents serves as the governing board and oversees the operations of all six of the state’s public institutions of higher education. Black Hills State University is the third-largest higher education institution in the system and is the largest university in the “west river” region. It is located near the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota in Spearfish, with an additional campus in nearby Rapid City. It serves students from 65 counties throughout the state, 45 other states, and 31 countries. 

BHSU has emerged into a comprehensive institution offering programs in the liberal arts, sciences, business, and education. Its mission includes a special emphasis on the preparation of elementary, middle level, and secondary teachers; human services; wellness; business; and health service professionals. Complementing these programs is a series of pre-professional, one- and two-year certificates, and associate degree programs. Eighty-one degrees are offered at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s levels. 

BHSU refers to itself as a campus “Where Anything is Possible.” BHSU offers unique opportunities for students and provides valuable personal relationships with faculty and staff. The mission statement of BHSU reflects the importance of students. The mission is to “be a dynamic learning environment that fosters critical thinking and creative expression.” The University Vision Statement reflects an even greater in-depth purpose: “Black Hills State University will be the region’s leading university in undergraduate research and sustainability whose graduates will enact global change through leadership, stewardship, and scholarship.” 

The University’s 112 full-time and 84 adjunct faculty members are committed to teaching and learning and student success. The faculty are joined in supporting the educational mission by 190 permanent staff members and 311 student employees. The efforts of faculty are complemented by an equal commitment from staff, students, alumni, and community leaders in the region who are passionate about the University, its mission, and the region in which it is located. The student/faculty ratio at Black Hills State University is 16:1. Of the full-time faculty, 50% are tenured and 83% hold a terminal degree. 

While BHSU’s focus is on teaching and outreach, research is an expectation of faculty. The University provides numerous opportunities for faculty to engage in research, oftentimes with undergraduates to give them insight and perspective as they move forward in their respective careers. Grants and contracts awarded to the University in recent years ranged between two to six million dollars. 

BHSU academic programs are delivered through three colleges: the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Business and Natural Sciences, and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. BHSU is accredited through The Higher Learning Commission. BHSU Education programs are accredited by The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. BHSU Business programs are accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The BHSU Music Education program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. BHSU’s Physical Education program is nationally recognized by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. 

BHSU serves the largest population of Native American students in South Dakota. Through an act of the South Dakota legislature, the Center for American Indian Studies at BHSU was established. The Center administers four academic programs and two student organizations. The major in American Indian Studies was first offered in 1997 as a cooperative program between BHSU and the University of South Dakota. 

Student enrollment totals 3,539 students including the Spearfish campus, BHSU-Rapid City, and online. 

The University Honors Program enhances the university experience through a broad range of thought-provoking classes, faculty mentorship, and a close-knit academic and social community.  The campus has a robust student life program with over 90 student clubs and organizations, including residence hall councils, academic clubs, music groups, and social and recreational organizations. 

The BHSU campus is recognized as one of the most beautiful campuses in the state and the nation. The main campus in Spearfish consists of 123 acres and 23 major buildings in addition to Ida Henton Park, Lyle Hare Stadium, and the new Veteran’s Park. In recent years, BHSU has taken significant strides toward becoming a more sustainable university. Five residence halls and an eight-building apartment complex accommodate 873 students. The newest building on campus, Bordeaux Residence Hall, accommodates 196 students. 

Black Hills State University collaborated with the Sanford Underground Research Facility in a $4.5 million project to convert the Jonas Science building on the BHSU campus into a facility to complement Sanford Lab’s education efforts in the town of Lead. This building houses four teaching labs and four research labs. The Sanford Science Education Center officially opened on campus in 2016. Also, in 2016, BHSU opened its Underground Campus nearly a mile beneath the earth’s surface at Sanford Lab.  A major renovation of the E.Y. Berry Library Learning Center, which includes consolidating all student success functions into the first floor of the library, will be complete in the summer of 2022. 

BHSU-Rapid City campus offers educational opportunities for the state’s second-largest city. The convenient location offers accessible options for working adults, military personnel, and high school graduates who prefer to stay in their hometown. Classes are offered for certificate programs, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and an MBA program. 

BHSU is an outstanding institution with many impressive features and points of distinction. Consult the Position Profile to see an extensive list of these distinctions. 

BHSU offers in-state tuition for surrounding states: Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Minnesota students can also take advantage of their current reciprocity agreement. BHSU receives its funding from various sources, with the main ones being student tuition and fees and an annual appropriation from the State of South Dakota.

About 84% of students at BHSU receive some form of financial aid. $7,781,995 of the aid was non- obligation aid in the form of scholarships and grants. The remaining 61% of aid was in the form of loans and student employment. 

The University has two foundations, the Black Hills State University Foundation and the Yellow Jacket Foundation. Each, a separate 501c3, supports the welfare and future development of the University’s educational goals. The BHSU Foundation raises money for academic scholarships and capital projects and is led by a 22-member board of directors with assets totaling $23 million. The Yellow Jacket Foundation raises money for athletic scholarships and is led by a 24-member board of directors with assets totaling $2.7 million.  The two foundations have teamed up raising over $77 million in the last ten years. Two successful capital campaigns have taken place during this span with the next campaign set to launch into the silent phase in 2022. Annual fundraising revenue for 2021 exceeded a record $13.2 million with alumni participation of 12 percent. 

The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affair of BHSU will report directly to the president, Dr. Laurie Nichols. The Provost will join an administration that includes the Vice President for Enrollment Management, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Vice President for University Advancement, Executive Director of the BHSU Rapid City campus, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, and the Athletic Director. 

The Provost will oversee the three deans of the Colleges of Business and Natural Sciences, Education and Behavioral Sciences, and Liberal Arts. In addition, the Provost will be responsible for many other units on the campus. 

To Apply:
Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; parties who apply by March 18, 2022, will be given first consideration. Applications should include 1) a detailed cover letter addressing the priorities and desired qualities for the position; 2) a current curriculum vitae (CV); and 3) a list of five professional references with contact information and an explanation of the working relationship. To apply online, go to 

For more information or to offer recommendations:
Kristen Farha
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: 316-650-0069 

Black Hills State is committed to following the federal law, Title IX of the Education Amendment, and its policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment in educational programs, activities, and its employment practices. It ensures equal access to its educational programs and employment opportunities without regard to sex, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status, or ex-offender status. BHSU is committed to providing an environment not impaired by sex and gender-based misconduct, including sex discrimination and sexual harassment. This includes, without limitation, sexual harassing, violent intimidating or discriminatory conduct by its students, employees or any other member or visitor to the University community.

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