Discover more from The Dakota Scout
South Dakota Regents narrow search for next Black Hills State University president to four
Finalists from Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky and Nebraska schools to visit Spearfish campus next week
The South Dakota Board of Regents have whittled a pool of candidates to be the next head of Black Hills State University in Spearfish to four.
The Regents office in Pierre on Thursday morning announced that a hiring committee has chosen four finalists to succeed BHSU President Lauri Nichols, who will retire following the conclusion of semester this fall.
The four finalists all come from the academia world, serving right now at universities in Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky and Nebraska.
Regent Vice President Jeff Partridge, who chaired the presidential search process, told The Dakota Scout the quality of candidates who applied for the position at the Black Hills school impressed.
“The President of a University is a CEO of hundreds of employees, thousands of customers (students) and even more stakeholders and interested parties. We engaged several groups in our selection committee including students, community members, faculty and regents,” he said. “The caliber of candidates made the selection job very daunting from the get go. Our committee worked diligently to screen and select the best of the best.”
The Dakota Scout is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support a locally owned, operated and printed newspaper, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
The finalists, listed in alphabetical order, are:
• Dr. Matt Cecil is originally from South Dakota. He currently serves as the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Northern Kentucky University, located in Highland Heights, Ky. Previously, he has worked as a dean, interim provost, and senior vice president for academic affairs at Minnesota State University (MSU)-Mankato. Cecil has also spent time at Wichita State University and South Dakota State University. He holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Iowa and a master's degree in history from MSU-Mankato.
• Dr. Frederich Chilson is the current Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC), located in Lewiston, Idaho where he previously served as dean. Additionally, Dr. Chilson was a faculty member, and department chair at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, Mont. Chilson has also spent time at Eastern New Mexico University and Adams State University, as well as the private sector early. Chilson holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with emphasis in learning technology from New Mexico State University, as well as a master’s degree in human resource development from Idaho State University.
• Steve Elliott currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wayne State College (WSC) in Wayne, Neb. He has been part of the WSC community since 2003 and has held various positions, including faculty member, department chair, and dean, before accepting a vice president role in 2016. Elliott holds a master of fine arts degree — the highest degree in that field — from the University of Maryland and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
• Dr. Angie Fincannon is the current Dean of the College of Business at Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne, Ind. She’s served as a collegiate-level volleyball coach, faculty member, dean, assistant provost, and athletic director at Taylor University. Later, she held the position of vice chancellor for advancement at Indiana University Purdue University - Fort Wayne. Fincannon has an education doctorate in educational administration and a master's degree in education and administration from Ball State University.
All four finalists are scheduled to visit the university campus in Spearfish next week when they will meet with faculty members, students, administrative and professional staff, civil service employees, representatives of the BHSU Foundation, university alums and the Spearfish community. During their visits, the Board of Regents will hold private meetings with each finalist and with the campus representatives of the search committee.