Restructuring plans have been announced for the Student Life and Academic Affairs departments at Black Hills State University.

Dr. Kristi Pearce, dean of enrollment services, has been reassigned to serve as associate vice president for Academic Affairs. In her new position, Pearce will coordinate research initiatives and graduate studies, oversee university assessment, and support professional development for faculty. Pearce replaces Dr. George Earley who is retiring this summer.

According to President Kay Schallenkamp, the enrollment services dean position will not be filled and instead has been dedicated to fill two critical needs on campus: counseling and international programs.


“The two top priorities that have been brought forward by faculty, staff and students in the last nine months were these needs,” Schallenkamp says. “It’s critical that we have a campus counseling resource for our students. In addition, I’m looking forward to BHSU taking a more aggressive approach to developing international programs.”

Dr. James Fleming, associate professor of Counseling and School Psychology and director of the counseling center at the University of Nebraska Kearney, has been named director of counseling services and director of international programs at BHSU.

As a part of the restructuring, enrollment services will be part of the Student Life unit under the direction of Dr. Lois Flagstad. President Schallenkamp says the reorganization provides the opportunity to enhance and coordinate campus student services.

Pearce says she is looking forward to serving BHSU in this new role.

“I am excited to be a part of the university’s future in growing graduate studies and increasing research opportunities for BHSU faculty and students,” Pearce says. “As an educational psychologist, I have a special interest in academic program assessment and a true passion for faculty development to improve student learning. I am honored to be chosen to work to enhance the academic quality of BHSU’s learning community.”  

Pearce, who was previously an education professor for many years, served as enrollment dean for two years. Pearce holds a master’s degree in counseling and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of South Dakota. She served as president of the faculty senate and is an active member of several other university committees and boards. She is also a member of many professional and academic associations. Pearce served as director of the Bush Grant for faculty development at BHSU from 1993-1997 and coordinated the recent teacher education accreditation renewal. She has also served as coordinator of the master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at BHSU.

Schallenkamp noted that Fleming’s extensive background in both counseling and international programs will allow him to “hit the ground running” in this new position.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Fleming’s caliber and experience to lead the counseling center and international programs,” Schallenkamp says.

In recent years Fleming has traveled to Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Nassau in the Bahama Islands where he has lectured on the principles and use of the Solution-Focused Therapy model. He also serves Richard Young Hospital and the Lincoln Medical Education Foundation as a consultant and educator for service providers. Fleming holds a visiting faculty position at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania where he also serves as the Director of the Cognitive Behavioral Program of Study for the Department of Psychology Master's and Doctoral Degree Programs. In addition, he is the interim director of the UNK Counseling Center. He also served as a board member for the Institute for International Connections, Washington, D.C.

Fleming earned an Ed.D. from the University of South Dakota in Educational Psychology & Counseling. He also has a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.