Dr. Priscilla Romkema, dean of the College of Business and Technology (CBT) at Black Hills State University, has announced changes to the management team that will lead the college in its accreditation, teaching, research, service, recruitment and retention efforts.

The reorganization includes the hiring of Sheila Aaker as the assistant dean of the CBT. Aaker, who received her master’s degree in tourism from BHSU in 1993, has served as coordinator and then director of the Black Hills State University Extended Services Office since July 2000. In that position, she was responsible for the coordination, support and quality assurance of online, video conference, and extension courses.  Previously, Sheila served as a tourism and hospitality instructor at BHSU, a graduate assistant, and a foods lab supervisor.  In addition to her employment with BHSU, she has been an owner and operator of a collection agency, as well as commercial and residential rentals, a volunteer and concession manager at D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery, an amphitheater coordinator for the Black Hills Passion Play, and a manager of a store, café and campground at Iron Creek Lake.

The reorganization also includes the formation of two departments within the College:  the Department of Business, led by Dr. Ron DeBeaumont, and the Department of Industrial Technology, led by Tom Termes.

DeBeaumont earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oregon and served as an adjunct professor and as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in Oregon prior to moving to BHSU, where he has taught since 1995.  Initially teaching in the social science area, Ron began teaching at BHSU in 2002.  His teaching expertise includes labor economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics and environmental economics.  In addition, he has conducted economic impact studies and has collaborated with other business faculty in preparing labor studies.

Termes attended Ball State University, receiving a M.S. Ed. Degree in Industrial Education. Termes began teaching in the Department of Industrial Technology at BHSU in the fall of 1989.  Since 1998, he has worked exclusively with a distance-learning project in which he teaches electronics to high school students using the Internet.  He wrote two NSF grants to NSF's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) in support of this project.

“The reorganization of the CBT will streamline our internal activities and functions and enable us to respond more quickly to a wide variety of opportunities that exist in today’s global environment,” stated Romkema.  “Building on a strong team of faculty, staff and students, the CBT will become a highly visible player in the business arena in the state and the region.”

The College of Business and Technology is the largest business school in South Dakota in terms of number of students enrolled in business courses. Class sizes are kept low to facilitate classroom discussion and individual attention and mentoring. An indication of the quality of learning in the College is the fact that our students scored higher than the national average across eight business disciplines on recent national exit tests according to Romkema.

The College offers undergraduate programs in business and technology from associate to bachelor’s degrees as well as a master’s degree in business management emphasizing the service industry. It offers a wide range of academic programs, from Accounting, Management and Marketing to Industrial Technology and Tourism and Hospitality.