Laurie Stenberg Nichols has been named interim president at Black Hills State University. Nichols will assume the interim presidency July 1, and will serve in a temporary capacity until a national search for the university’s next president is concluded and the next president is appointed.
A native of Colman, S.D., Nichols received her undergraduate degree in home economics education from South Dakota State University. She holds a master’s of education degree in vocational and adult education from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in family and consumer sciences education/family studies from The Ohio State University.
“We are so pleased to have Dr. Nichols serve as the interim president of Black Hills State University,” said Paul B. Beran, the regents’ executive director and CEO. “Her higher education experience and previous service in South Dakota’s public university system leaves little doubt that she will be an excellent guide for the university until a permanent leader is appointed. We welcome her back home to South Dakota.”
For the past three years Nichols led the University of Wyoming as its 26th president, the first woman to hold this post. From 2009 to 2016 she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at South Dakota State University. From 1994 to 2009 she was dean of family and consumer sciences at South Dakota State University. In 2008 she was tapped to be the interim president at Northern State University. Dr. Nichols was an American Council on Education (ACE) fellow, class of 2006-2007. Prior to that, she taught at secondary and post-secondary levels in South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio, Idaho, and Iowa.
“I am delighted to be returning to South Dakota to join the leadership team, faculty, staff, and students at Black Hills State University for the next year,” said Nichols. “I also look forward to returning to the Black Hills, the same region where I started my career as a high school teacher in Hill City some four decades ago. I anticipate a positive and productive year as BHSU searches for its next permanent president.”
Black Hills State’s 10th president, Dr. Tom Jackson Jr., will become the president at Humboldt State University, an institution of the California State University System, in July.