Volume XXVII  No. 17 • April 25, 2003

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Black Hills State University receives accreditation approval notice - top


Black Hills State University has received formal notification of continued accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is part of the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools.


BHSU, the state’s third largest university, is looking forward to the future after receiving the 10-year accreditation notice along with encouraging observations from the accreditation review and subsequent team visit. The comments from the accreditation visiting team reaffirmed the university’s accomplishments over the past 10 years and project a positive future for the university.


“The accreditation team’s comments are a testament to the outstanding accomplishments of the university over the past decade,” said Thomas Flickema, BHSU president. “The university has made great strides and looks forward to the future with much optimism. Originally chartered as a teacher training school in 1883, BHSU is now recognized as the only multipurpose public institution of higher learning in western South Dakota and the largest university for miles in a multi-state region.”


The visiting accreditation team’s report indicated that BHSU has made “substantial progress” since the last visit (1992) as evidenced by “the improved faculty and administrative relationships, the strong and enthusiastic support of community leaders for the important role BHSU plays in the region, the physical appearance of the buildings and the campus grounds, the motivated and loyal student body, and the able and experienced administrative leadership.”


The report concludes, “In summary, the team finds BHSU to be a healthy institution with good prospects for continuing success.”


Prior to the accreditation team visit, the entire university conducted an extensive two-year self-study process to examine five broad criteria that focus on the effectiveness of academic programs and the operation of the university.


The results from the seven-person team showed that BHSU is poised for the future. The accreditation team found that BHSU anticipated the needs of the region, both current and future, and is ready to respond with educational, cultural and economic programs to meet those needs.


The accreditation team cited the university’s commitment to academic excellence; the university’s immersion in the community with service activities; the increase in external funding, which now includes two Congressional earmarks for research centers; and evidence of successful strategic planning. The team members also commented favorably on the physical improvements on campus and the positive comments received from community members concerning the university’s role in the community and region. The team suggested that the university continue to improve diversity in faculty, staff and students, seek ways to provide additional support staff and improve retention.


BHSU was first granted accreditation in 1928. The next comprehensive evaluation is scheduled in 2012-13. Higher educational institutions must have NCA accreditation to receive federal funds.


The NCA was founded in 1895 as a membership organization for educational institutions. It is committed to developing and maintaining high standards of excellence. The NCA is one of six regional institutional accrediting associations in the United States. Through its commissions it accredits, and thereby grants membership, to educational institutions in the 19-state North Central region which includes Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.


The Higher Learning Commission is recognized by the Secretary of Education and the Committee on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA, now continued under the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, or CHEA). Information about the process can be obtained from the HLC at 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, Ill., 60602-2504.

BHSU faculty member receives Sasakawa Fellowship - top

Dr. Roger Miller, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Black Hills State University, has been awarded a Sasakawa Fellowship from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

The fellowship will support Miller’s participation in the “National Faculty Development Institute on Incorporating Japanese Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum” in San Diego this summer. The institute offers an interdisciplinary approach to Japanese culture, history, and society, while preparing the fellows to develop stimulating and engaging curricula through the introduction of approaches and methodologies to the teaching of modern Japan and the identification of as broad a range of Japan-related resources as possible.

Dr. Thomas Flickema, BHSU president, commended Miller for the fellowship award. “The Sasakawa Fellowship is a distinct honor and strong recognition for all that Roger has accomplished in the area of globalization,” said Flickema.

Miller joined the BHSU faculty in 1991. That same year he earned a doctorate in education from Brigham Young University in curriculum and instruction. He lived in Australia for many years before moving to the United States to complete his education.

Tracton elected South Dakota director to the Midwest Sociological Society - top

Beth Tracton, assistant professor of sociology at Black Hills State University, was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Midwest Sociological Society (MSS). Tracton will serve as South Dakota’s director for the next two years.

The MSS is composed of sociologists from South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Kansas as well as sociologists from around the country. Each of the nine regional states is allowed one representative on the Board of Directors.

As the South Dakota director Tracton attended the MSS’s annual conference in Chicago, Ill. She served as co-organizer with Njeri Mbugua of Illinois Wesleyan University for the session “Gender and Social Change” during the conference entitled “Social and Cultural Dynamics: From Social Relationship through the World System.” In addition she was a member of a panel regarding term appointments where she spoke about her experiences at the Ellsworth Branch Campus.

Tracton holds a Ph.D. in sociology from South Dakota State University. She began teaching BHSU classes at the Ellsworth Air Force Base branch campus in 1999. She now teaches on the main campus.

Black Hills State will recognize faculty and staff for service - top

Black Hills State University employees will be recognized for state, university, and community service at a reception Thursday, May 1 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union Jacket Legacy Room. The program will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Honored at the reception will be this year’s retirees: Darleen Baird, Facilities Services worker; Don Chastain, assistant professor of technology; Mark Gabel, professor of science; Fred Heidrich, associate professor of business; Dick Hicks, professor of art; Tom Hills, professor of political science; Vera Litschewski, senior secretary in the Enrollment Center; and Rosemary Robertson, custodial worker. Hills will also be honored as this year’s distinguished faculty member.

Jace DeCory, instructor of American Indian studies, was chosen to receive a special committee award recognizing her exemplary work advising students. Cheryl Leahy, senior secretary in the Enrollment Center, and David Wolff, assistant professor of history, will be honored for their community service. Kim Kerwin, cook in the Student Union Market Place, and Mike Jastorff, director of the University Bookstore, will be awarded outstanding university service awards. The student service award will be given to Joan Wermers, disability services advisor. The University Communications office will receive the university area award.

University employees who have served the state for 10, 15, 20, 25, and 35 years will receive pins to acknowledge their dedication.

Ten-year employees include Cheryl Anagnopoulos, associate professor of psychology; Sam Berney, assistant professor of mathematics; Becky Cooper, librarian; Dan Durben, associate professor of science; Ron Ehly, storekeeper; Carol Hess, associate professor of education; Kathy Johnson, vice president for Finance and Administration; Roger Ochse, associate professor of English; and Kim Schmitz, program assistant I in the Enrollment Center.

Employees receiving 15-year pins are Curtis Card, associate professor of mathematics; Tom Cox, professor of psychology; Jastorff; Leahy; Nancy Lewis, secretary for Graphics and Media; David Maki, food service worker; April Meeker, director of Records; Monty Robinson, assistant professor of business; and LeAnn Vandine, secretary for Facilities Services.

Twenty-year pins will be awarded to Patty Clarkson, senior secretary for the College of Education; Jim Hess, professor of psychology; and Kent Meyers, assistant professor of English.

Recognized for 25 years of service will be Jr. Bettelyoun, assistant professor of education; Gary Hunt, building maintenance specialist; Janeen Larsen, professor of music and chair of the Fine and Applied Arts Department; Lil Odell, reproduction services supervisor; and Ardean Wessel, assistant to the president.

Cal Crooks, Graphics and Media coordinator; Anita Haeder, human resource officer; and Valerie Hawkins, librarian and assistant professor of education, will be honored for 35 years of state service.

BHSU gallery will display Tysdal photographs - top

The Photographers Gallery on the Black Hills State University campus will be exhibiting photographs by Ray Tysdal now through May 30. The Photographers Gallery, located on the lower level of Jonas Hall, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The show includes a series of Tysdal’s high-contrast wildlife prints as well as several sepia-toned prints. For more information contact Steve Babbitt at 642-6769.

Romantic masterpieces will be performed at BHSU - top

Black Hills State University will host a concert of “Romantic Masterpieces” Tuesday, April 29 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union Jacket Legacy Room.

Advanced music students will perform a variety of classical and romantic works, featuring several piano solos by Beethoven and Debussy. Refreshments will be available in a relaxed atmosphere.

The concert is sponsored by the BHSU University Programming Team and the BHSU Music Department. There is no charge for admission. Contact Dr. Janeen Larsen, BHSU professor of music, at 642-6241 for more information.

BHSU theatre presents The Misanthrope May 1-3 - top

The Black Hills State University theatre will present The Misanthrope May 1-3 at 
8 p.m. in Woodburn Auditorium.

This French neoclassic drama is a masterpiece by Moliere depicting Alceste, a man who believes in honesty in all things, but finds himself in legal trouble with a nobleman and gains the misfortune of falling in love with a Parisian socialite who doesn’t know truth.

Alceste considers that truth should be spoken invariably and without regard to common courtesies.  He denounces the insincerity of contemporary society whenever possible. When a loyal friend, Philinte, attempts to make Alceste realize that honesty doesn’t oblige him to go out of his way to offend and hurt people, he discovers his efforts are in vain.

His legal troubles begin when a young nobleman, Oronte, requests Alceste’s opinion on his writing; Alceste’s offensive criticism brings the threat of a lawsuit.  Despite Alceste’s commitment to honesty in all things, he falls in love with Celimene, a popular young Parisian woman with little regard for the truth in anything.  When a cousin tries to expose Celimene’s deceit, it only makes Alceste love her even more and want to marry her.

The Misanthrope will be performed by the following cast: Jared McDaris, a sophomore psychology major from Rutledge, Ga., as Alceste; Mike Waring, a freshman from Spearfish, as Philinte; Kurtis (Rex) Maxwell, a junior mass communications major from Whitewood, as Oronte; Vanessa Foxworthy, a senior speech communications major from Belle Fourche, as Celimene; Rachel Eggebo, a senior business administration major from Spearfish, as Elainte; Sarah Cozort, a freshman from Murfeesboro, Tenn., as Arsinoe; Jonas Lynch, a junior drafting major from Lily, as Acaste; Jared Hall, a freshman physical education major from Spearfish, as Clitandre; Emily Varland, a freshman mass communications major from Gregory, as Basque; and Jake Bobby, a sophomore speech communications major from Spearfish, as DuBois.

The director will be Teresa Addington, a senior speech communications major from Lead. Assistant director is Tom Kobes, a freshman from Rapid City. Costume designer is Dr. Pam Wegner, associate professor of theatre. Stage manager will be Kristine Schaffer, a senior vocal music major from Belle Fourche. Accompanied by harpsichordist, Lori Miller, a former BHSU graduate who currently teaches piano in Spearfish.

Jacob (Mosas) Feeley, a senior art major from Spearfish; Lynch; Maxwell; Elizabeth Verhey, a sophomore English major from Rapid City; Sara Duex, a junior elementary education major from Spearfish; Kobes; Teri Nelson, a junior mass communications and political science major from Sturgis; Jessica Ginter, a freshman from Lead; and Vanessa Kitzler, a freshman mass communications major from Eureka, are responsible for scenery design.

The lighting crew consists of Nic Hansen, a junior speech communications major from Spearfish and McDaris. The sound crew includes Tim Bessette, a senior speech communications major from Spearfish, and Hall. Dr. Wegner and Foxworthy will provide costumes while Jared Gaskill, a freshman technology major from Belle Fourche, and Varland will be in charge of props. Eggebo and Cozort will coordinate tickets and public relations for this theatre performance.

Contact Al Sandau for more information at 642-6268. Tickets may be reserved by contacting the BHSU theatre box office at 642-6171 the week of the play or emailing theatre@bhsu.edu.

BHSU will host eleventh annual Island in the Plains - top

Black Hills State University will host the 11th annual Island in the Plains Archaeological and Historical Conference Saturday, May 3 beginning at 9 a.m. in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union Jacket Legacy Room.

The conference will feature archaeologists, historians and enthusiasts who will present brief papers and slide presentations on a wide variety of Black Hills topics. Last year 18 papers were presented covering such issues as petroglyphs, rockshelter habitations, CCC sites, Chinese artifacts in Deadwood and mammoth locations.

A buffet-style banquet will be served at 6 p.m. at the High Plains Heritage Center Museum. Dr. George Frison, professor emeritus at the University of Wyoming, will speak after the banquet. Frison’s program, entitled “Prehistoric Hunters: Fallacies, Possibilities, and the Archaeological Record,” is sponsored by the South Dakota Humanities Council and is open to the public at no charge.

Researchers, interested persons, teachers and students are encouraged to attend. Conference pre-registration is $20 until April 30; registration at the door or after April 30 will be $25. Students 18 and under will be admitted free. Registration forms and payments can be sent to Dave McKee, Attn: Island in the Plains, Black Hills National Forest, 25041 N. Hwy 16, Custer, SD 57730.

The conference is sponsored by the South Dakota Humanities Council, Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota State Archaeological Research Center, Black Hills State University, Pochteca Archaeology, Bureau of Land Management in Newcastle, Wyo., Wyoming Association of Professional Archaeologists, High Plains Heritage Center Museum, and the South Dakota Archaeological Society.

Conference information and registration forms can be found at www.fs.fed.us/r2/blackhills by clicking on recreational activities then heritage.
For more information contact Michael Fosha at 605-394-1903, Alice Tratebas at 307-746-6621, Dave McKee at 605-673-9265, or David Wolff at 605-642-6221.

BHSU siblings win honors at state business contest - top

Marc Summers and Renae Summers, siblings who attend Black Hills State University, received top honors at the state business leadership conference sponsored by Phi Beta Lambda recently in Pierre.

Marc won first place in three separate competitions: business finance, business law and accounting for professionals. A junior majoring in professional accounting at BHSU, Marc thought he did fairly well after taking the hour-long exams that each consisted of 
100 questions but didn’t expect to win all three competitions.

“I usually test well,” Marc said, “but I was surprised to learn I scored highest in these three contests.”

Meanwhile his sister Renae placed third in the accounting principles exam. Renae is a junior who recently decided to change her major to accounting as well. This was the first Phi Beta Lambda competition for both students.

Verona Beguin, Phi Beta Lambda advisor at BHSU, congratulates the brother and sister duo for their participation and awards in the competition.

Three other BHSU students: April Knight, a senior accounting major from Phillip; Brook Paulson, a junior accounting major from Belle Fourche; and Cindy Reller, a junior business administration major from Sturgis; also attended and competed at the statewide conference. Students from 11 higher educational institutions participated in the business competitions that cover a broad spectrum of business topics including marketing, desktop publishing, job interviews and management.

The students also attended workshops by Erich Heneke, Jamie Griffin, and Deb Tech Coffey. The mission of Phi Beta Lambda is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.

BHSU student makes a run for television career - top

By Antonia Kucera, University Communications intern

Black Hills State University senior Nikki Underwood is well known in Spearfish. She is the petite blonde often seen running circles on the track field or easily traipsing cross country; she is Candy Dandy on the radio station KBHU the Buzz in the morning and the driving force behind KBHU TV’s Sports Talk show; she is the one smiling with enthusiasm while cruising up the ladder of success. Underwood is once again in the spotlight, especially upon recent acceptance for a high profile internship with a show on NBC’s sports channel, the “George Michael Sports Machine.”

From June 1 through the end of August, Underwood will be one of 14 interns who move to Washington D.C. to participate in producing a professional weekly television

show. Besides acceptance based on her excellent record of achievement and performance during her collegiate career, Underwood heads for the internship on a recommendation from Dave Diamond, BHSU assistant professor of broadcasting, who just happens to know George Michael. Black Hills State University senior 
Nikki Underwood’s successful running career has taught her important values that helped her earn a high profile internship for NBC.
“Nikki Underwood is a winner,” said Diamond. “She works hard at every task she undertakes until she masters it. She has a great personality, and everyone I know respects and loves her.”

Underwood is no stranger to success. While going to high school in Brookings, she attended some running camps at BHSU with Coach Scott Walkinshaw and made the decision to pursue her college education in Spearfish. She walked on to the BHSU cross country and track and field teams her freshman year, and has since become a scholarship athlete and has earned the honor of All-American nine times. She was also recently ranked first in the qualifying rounds for a 26.2-mile marathon sponsored by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Underwood is pursuing a major in mass communications with an emphasis in broadcasting and a double minor in business and speech communication. She is active in nearly all of the mass communications student organizations. In many ways, running has opened up countless opportunities for Underwood.

“What I’ve learned through running – discipline, determination, hard work, confidence, time management – will all help me in my career,” she said. “You can do anything you put your mind to is what I’ve learned. It’s amazing what you can do with some hard work.”

Most of these values are already deeply ingrained in Underwood’s personality from good upbringing. Her main influence is her mother. According to Underwood, her mother has a very positive outlook on life and is very active, especially in her work as a Mary Kay salesperson who is ranked as the number six director in the nation.

“I admire [my mother] a lot – her work ethic, determination and positive attitude,” Underwood said. Her mother has taught her to take pride in being a strong, successful woman. Underwood is now living up to those ideals with the internship for NBC.

She also has a reputation to live up to; last summer, BHSU senior Nate Brown was accepted for the same job and left a very good impression. Although Brown is more knowledgeable about the world of sports, Underwood is confident in her ability to excel as an intern.

“My personality will definitely help in [the broadcasting] field,” she said. “You can’t be shy. You have to be confident in your abilities. You can’t be scared to try new things.”

Several changes are sure to surface in D.C., such as the difference in technology between BHSU’s basement studio and NBC’s professional studio. Underwood is eager to work with the cameras and editing equipment and hopefully earn the privilege of doing her own interview with an athlete, an honor Brown was awarded at the end of his internship.

Underwood is, of course, excited at the opportunity she has with this internship to discover first-hand if sports broadcasting is what she wants to do for a career. Her history as a child gymnast and adult runner makes those her favorite sports, but she is interested in all sports. Surprisingly, if she could interview anybody in the world, her first pick would not be an athlete but a television personality.

Leeza Gibbons is someone Underwood has always admired – she has her own television and radio show, plus she interviews a wide variety of people. If Gibbons is not available, she would like to interview Oprah. Underwood is interested in how these ladies got started on their career paths and how they climbed so far up the ladder.

“I like to see successful women who are awesome at what they do,” she said. “My mom taught me that.” Underwood is well along the path of becoming just that type of woman.


Minutes of the Chiesman Committee - top

The BHSU Chiesman Committee met April 17 at 3:30 p.m. in the Woodburn Hall first floor conference room. Voting members present were: Tim Molseed, George Earley, Ahrar Ahmad, Micheline Hickenbotham, Carol Hess, Lennis Larson, and Riley Chrisman. The non-voting members, Dan Farrington and John Usera, were absent.

The chair noted that there were three awards that were not completed and were past the date assigned for completion. The committee decided to give the three persons until Sept. 1 to complete the projects. If not completed by that date, the funding will be ended.

The committee approved a motion to establish a new policy effective with the fall 2003 awards. Projects will have one year allowed for completion with a possible six-month extension (if requested and approved by the committee). If not completed by the end of the requested extension, the funding will cease.

The chair noted that the ABC-CLIO account had $911.50 remaining in it. The committee approved a motion to use these funds to purchase ten copies each of the research projects completed by Black Hills State University faculty and published by the state Chiesman Foundation office. These copies will be distributed to the Black Hills State University library, the Spearfish public library, the Spearfish High School library, the Deadwood public library, the Lead High School library, and the Whitewood public library.

The chair reported that the Speakers Bureau account had $2,491 remaining in it. Of 
this up to $2,000 was committed to the UP Team for the James Loewen presentation April 22.

Hickenbotham reported that she was negotiating with Stanley Katz of Princeton University as a possible speaker for April 2004. The committee instructed her to continue her contacts with Katz. If he comes to campus, he will speak on the 
U.S. Constitution and human rights.

The meeting adjourned at 4 p.m.

Minutes submitted by James R. Chrisman, secretary of the BHSU Chiesman Committee.

University Assessment Committee minutes - top

The University Assessment Committee met Tuesday, April 22 at 3:30 p.m. in 
Jonas 103.

Present were Earley, Haislett, Siewert, DeJong, Pearce, Calhoon, and Schamber. Cook, Norby, Lembcke, Gallagher, J. Miller, D. Myers, and H. Johnson were absent.

Haislett reported on her five-year study of student Noel-Levitz Surveys. She reported that this report is available to anyone who is interested. The report discusses the strengths and concerns of the students over a five-year period. Strengths include my advisor is approachable, the campus is safe and secure, the instruction in my major field is excellent, and faculty are usually available. A weakness is that students feel they get the run around when they seek information on this campus.


  • Schamber introduced the report. Based on the interpretation and changes, the College of Education will modify the plan and report next year. The report was accepted.

Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction (MSCI):

  • The MSCI was an incomplete report lacking interpretation and changes. The faculty of the College of Education will go back and meld the goals to accommodate both on-line and face-to-face cohorts. This would occur next year. The committee accepted report.

Physical Education:  

  • The committee discussed and accepted the report.

Chair pointed out that this past year BHSU has been renewed for accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, NCATE, the South Dakota Department of Education, and the Wyoming Department of Public Instruction. All of these looked at our assessment procedures and reports and found them to be satisfactory.

In the fall the committee wants to do a session during orientation. When the faculty in-service is set, the chair will contact committee members and plan for that session.

Faculty research funds available - top

The Faculty Research Committee has funds available for the current fiscal year. Write a short (about three-page) proposal. Proposal forms are available in the Grants and Special Projects Office, Woodburn 309, or can be printed from the website.

It is anticipated that successful applicants will request support for faculty release time, research equipment, travel to research sites or research support for the production of creative work. Preference is given to new applicants, particularly in the areas of education, business, social sciences and humanities. Applications are now being accepted for faculty release time for spring 2004. Release time is awarded to full-time faculty who teach on the BHSU campus. The next application deadline is Friday, 
April 25 at 12 p.m.

The applicants are encouraged to contact the committee members for advice prior to completing their proposals. The members are John Alsup, Earl Chrysler, Tom Cox, Abdollah Farrokhi (chair), Jim Hess, Kathleen Parrow, Shane Sarver, and Rob Schurrer. 

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