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Jack Warner (left), executive director and CEO of the South Dakota Board of Regents, congratulates Black Hills State University President Kay Schallenkamp for receiving the honorary Doctor of Public Service degree, as Regents President Dean M. Krogman reads her citation. In the background (from left) are regents Kevin Schieffer, Joe Schartz, and Kathryn Johnson.

 

Regents President Dean M. Krogman (right) reads the citation awarding Black Hills State University President Kay Schallenkamp the honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

 

The South Dakota Board of Regents awarded the honorary Doctor of Public Service degree to Black Hills State University President Kay Schallenkamp, as she retires this month following a 40-year career in public higher education. From left, Regent Bob Sutton, President Schallenkamp, and Regent Randy Morris participated in the hooding ceremony. In the background are regents Kevin Schieffer and Terry Baloun.

The South Dakota Board of Regents awarded its highest honor Wednesday to Kay Schallenkamp, who retires later this month as president of Black Hills State University.

The honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service, was presented to Schallenkamp in “recognition of extraordinary service and leadership to the South Dakota system of public higher education.”

The degree was conferred at the Board of Regents’ meeting in Vermillion. Regents’ officials say this title is reserved for individuals whose exceptional personal and professional contributions have merited special acknowledgement. 

“Under Kay Schallenkamp’s leadership as president for the past eight years, Black Hills State University has come to distinguish itself as a dynamic and growing comprehensive university in our region and beyond,” said Regents President Dean M. Krogman. Focused on innovation in education, President Schallenkamp partnered Black Hills State with the nearby Sanford Underground Research Facility to develop a world-class science laboratory that will pay dividends for years to come. 

During her tenure, BHSU has steadily increased enrollment and graduation rates, added new undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and increased grant funding and scholarship donations. President Schallenkamp has built and strengthened collaborations with business, industry, and government agencies to meet regional workforce needs, the regents noted.

As one of South Dakota’s own, President Schallenkamp began her higher education experience as an undergraduate student at Northern State University in Aberdeen. She later returned there to embark upon an academic career that has spanned more than 40 years. She has also distinguished herself in public service outside the borders of South Dakota, as president of Emporia State University in Kansas and in senior-level academic positions at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and at Chadron State College in Nebraska.