Presidential Announcement


Dr. Tom Jackson Jr.
SPEARFISH, S.D. – Dr. Tom Jackson Jr., vice president for student affairs at the University of Louisville, will become the 10th president of Black Hills State University.

Jackson succeeds President Kay Schallenkamp, who retires at the end of this academic year after eight years at the helm of the Spearfish-based campus. Jackson will begin his duties in South Dakota July 3.

Tom Jackson has dedicated his professional life to improving the student experience, and that kind of student-centered focus is very important to the success of Black Hills State University and our public university system as a whole,” said Regent Kathryn Johnson, chair of the search committee. “The search committee was also very impressed with Dr. Jackson’s experience in leading large and small teams through strategic planning and organizational change, as well as his demonstrated record of cultivating strong relationships on the campuses where he has worked and with local communities and business partners,” Johnson said. “We look forward to Tom’s leadership as BHSU continues on its course of growth in enrollment, resources, and research.”

Since 2007, Jackson has provided leadership for student affairs activities at the University of Louisville, a state-supported research university located in Louisville, Ky., with an enrollment of about 22,500 students. In his current position, he oversees 475 professional and student employees and more than $80 million in facilities and resources.

"BHSU is an amazing university that inspires innovation and student success,” Jackson said. “It is filled with so many scholars focused on student learning and sustainability. It is also filled with the opportunity to model what a university 'can do' and can become," he said.


Jackson has held leadership roles in student affairs at several other universities, including vice president for student affairs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, dean of students at McMurry University, and director of the Student Activities Center at the University of Texas-El Paso. He was also president of the American College Personnel Association in 2009-10, serving as the elected CEO and spokesman for 8,500 student development professionals from 27 countries and 1,300 institutions.

Jackson holds a doctor of education degree in educational management from the University of La Verne in California. He has a master’s degree in counseling/student personnel from Pennsylvania’s Shippensburg University, a bachelor’s degree in business management/personnel from Southwest (Minn.) State University, and an associate degree from Highline Community College in Midway, Wash. He is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, Texas State Guard, and Indiana Guard Reserve.

Serving about 4,500 students, Black Hills State University is committed to scholarship, student-centered instruction, educational excellence and life-long learning, innovation, and change. BHSU offers undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, fine arts, business, technology, and education, and graduate programs in education, science, business, leadership, and sustainability. In addition to its Spearfish campus, Black Hills State University is the lead partner in the University Center-Rapid City, a public university consortium that provides educational opportunities for citizens in Rapid City and the Black Hills area.

Originally from Seattle, Wash., Jackson is married to Mona Kumar Jackson. They have two children: Thomas (TJ), 16, and Chandi, 12. He enjoys flying as a private instrument-rated pilot, travel, movies, college sports, and tennis.