Wayne State College Vice President of Academic Affairs Steve Elliott has been named the next president of Black Hills State University in Spearfish.
The South Dakota Board of Regents announced the choice on Thursday.
Elliott, who’s been at Wayne State for 20 years and vice president since 2016, isn’t wasting any time in taking over at Black Hills State – he’ll start there on Dec 22.
South Dakota Regent and search committee chair Jeff Partridge says the panel “worked diligently to select the best from the best” and did so in picking Elliott.
Partridge says Elliott “rose to the top” of the applicants and is “well positioned to take BHSU to the next level,” calling him “an excellent addition” to the university and the Spearfish community.
Elliott is a veteran of the U-S Marine Corps and is a sculptor with a Master of Fine Arts degree whose works have been exhibited in 26 states. At Wayne State, he was a faculty member, department chair, and dean before becoming vice president.
Partridge says Elliott’s varied background fits well with a leadership style that “appears efficient and effective,” while his service to the country as a Marine “is a testament to his exceptional work ethic.”
Elliott says he’s “honored and humbled” because Black Hills State and the surrounding region have “exciting potential” – adding that he and his family are “truly excited about becoming part of the vibrant and growing Spearfish community.”
He also says he’s looking forward to working with the state and the communities served by BHSU “to develop new academic opportunities, expand partnerships, and continue building Black Hills State University’s outstanding reputation. “
Chadron State Vice President of Academics Dr Jim Powell says tongue-in-cheek that the Nebraska State College System needs to force Elliott to sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep him from “taking our best ideas to Black Hills State.”
Current Black Hills State President Dr Laurie Nichols, a former president of the University of Wyoming, announced in April that she was retiring.