Volume XXIX, No. 33 • Aug. 26, 2005

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Welcome to Black Hills State University - top

  • Juan Perez, custodial worker, Facilities Services

President Flickema announces retirement - top

Dr. Thomas O. Flickema, president of BHSU (speaking), just announced that he plans to retire at the end of this fiscal year (July 1, 2006). Flickema made the announcement at the annual State of the University Address during faculty in-service Tuesday. Several people from the Board of Regents office, including (left to right) Regent Randall Morris; Dr. Tad Perry, executive director of the Board of Regents; and Regent James Hansen (right), attended the meeting on the BHSU campus.

BHSU President Dr. Thomas Flickema announces his impending retirement

Dr. Thomas Flickema, president of Black Hills State University, announced his impending retirement during the annual state of the university address this week.

Flickema, who has served as BHSU president since 1994, plans to retire July 1, 2006. According to the Board of Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, the board will announce a presidential search process and timeline. Jewett praised Flickema for his work as the eighth president at BHSU.

“Under Tom Flickema’s leadership, Black Hills State University has established itself as the third largest university in South Dakota and a leader in liberal arts education,” Jewett said. “He will be remembered for many things, but especially his efforts to improve student retention and to raise the profile of undergraduate research on this campus.”

Flickema came to BHSU in August 1994 when he was appointed to serve as interim president. He was named to the post permanently in February 1995 following a nationwide search. His 22-year career in the South Dakota public higher education system also includes serving as vice president for academic affairs at Northern State University from 1983 to 1994. Flickema is BHSU’s eighth president.

Board of Regents members Randall Morris and Jim Hansen as well as Dr. Tad Perry, executive director of the board of regents were on campus when Flickema announced his forthcoming retirement.

In making the announcement, Flickema highlighted the progress BHSU has made in the last decade and noted that he believes the university is ready for the future.

“What this campus has already accomplished is a sound foundation for going into the future,” Flickema said. “This is not a time to pause. All entities must continue to move into the future.”

“It has been a tremendous experience and privilege for me to be the president of Black Hills State University. I thank the Board of Regents for this privilege,” Flickema said.

He also praised the faculty and staff at BHSU.

“Over the past decade I have cherished the opportunity to work with you, a stimulating group of talented, dedicated, and creative people. Because of our limited finances, people often get the job done with extra effort and creative thinking—something that happens every day across this campus. The Black Hills State University faculty and staff provide the best possible education and services to our students and to the community beyond the campus. These years have been the most satisfying and fulfilling professional experience in my life and I value the rich associations I have had with all of you and thank you for all that you have contributed.”

At BHSU, Flickema will be remembered for his many accomplishments as he led the university through a number of changes and enhancements. Among his many achievements has been his leadership in establishing BHSU as the third largest university in the state and his far-reaching vision for the university. The ACT scores of incoming freshmen has risen as well. Under Flickema’s directives, BHSU has placed an increased emphasis on retention which has shown positive results.

Under Flickema’s leadership the last decade, BHSU has seen many changes and improvements. Perhaps the most noticeable is the transformation of the campus with ongoing landscaping and building improvements, most recently with the addition of Clare and Josef Meier Hall, a magnificent music and classroom building which is located in the center of campus.

Flickema’s vision for BHSU included expanding the reach of the university by increasing the number and types of courses offered in the surrounding area. BHSU now offers classes at several sites in the Rapid City region and also makes classes available at other locations and through distance learning options. BHSU now has a full-time presence in Rapid City at the Higher Education Center – West River to assist residents in that area with higher educational needs and goals.

Flickema led the university through a successful national accreditation visit from the Higher Learning Commission in 2002 as well as receiving positive accreditation approvals from several discipline-specific organizations.

During Flickema’s tenure, the university also greatly enhanced outreach activities through the addition of several centers including the Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education, the Center for Tourism Research, the Center for the Conservation of Biological Resources, the Center for Business and Entrepreneurship and the Center for Indian Studies. These centers provide a link to the community with services, assistance and development.

Under Flickema’s watch, outside funding for the university has grown exponentially. A total of 35 grant proposals were approved this past year totaling just under $4 million. Many of these grants have provided much needed equipment for teaching and training. The university has placed a growing emphasis on research and development and faculty are committed to providing opportunities for undergraduate research. Flickema has also encouraged the university to develop partnerships with other universities and agencies as well as industries and businesses in the region.

The BHSU Foundation and the Yellow Jacket Foundation have seen huge increases in the last decade. The assets of the foundations now total more than $7.2 million. The scholarship programs administered by the BHSU Foundations has grown dramatically and BHSU was able to award more than $662,000 in scholarships last year compared to $150,000 when Flickema arrived at BHSU.

Flickema has always maintained that the cornerstone of academic achievement rests upon the strength of the faculty and the diversity of the curriculum, and he has worked to ensure that BHSU has the best of both. Through the years the number of faculty members with the highest available degrees in their fields has increased from 53 percent to more than 77 percent.

“The driving force in an academic institution is the faculty, and Black Hills State is fortunate in that its faculty are extremely talented, dedicated and hardworking,” Flickema says. Faculty research and publications as well as performance activities have increased dramatically in the last 10 years. Flickema noted that faculty use of technology has also seen major changes and improvements in that time period.

A Michigan native, Flickema received a Ph.D. (1966) from Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., in history with a political science minor. He earned a master’s degree in history at WSU in 1962. His undergraduate degree in history and education was acquired at Hope College, Holland, Mich., in 1960.

After completing a teaching assistantship and his master’s degree in history, Flickema began his professional career in 1962 as a history instructor at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich. The following year he moved to Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., as an assistant professor of history. Moving the West Coast in 1977, he accepted a history professorship at California State University-Fullerton. There he served as director of summer sessions in Mexico and Guatemala and ultimately as director of Latin American studies from 1973 to 1975. From 1975 to 1979 he was chairman of the history department at the Fullerton campus.

Flickema was appointed dean of graduate studies at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1979. He served as dean until 1983 when he was appointed vice president for academic affairs at Northern State University in Aberdeen.

The president and his wife, Judy, have three grown children, Patricia, Todd and Jan, and six grandchildren.

Technological changes at the library lead the way to new developments - top

Rajeev Bukralia, systems librarian at the Black Hills State University library, demonstrates recent technology changes that will provide enhanced services for students, faculty and staff and open the way for future developments at the library.

Rajeev Bukralia demonstrates recent technology changes at the BHSU library

Recent technological changes at the Black Hills State University library have set the stage for the university to provide enhanced services for students as well as faculty and staff.

According to Rajeev Bukralia, systems librarian, the library recently made several significant innovative technology changes that will open the way for future developments as well.

Bukralia recently announced two major technology advances that the library staff has instituted and noted that they are continually looking for ways to incorporate technology into the library operations.

“We are always looking for new trends for libraries and then work to make those services available to our students,” Bukralia says.

Just recently the staff made it possible for scholarly search conducted by Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com) to search the holdings at the BHSU library. Bukralia explained that the well-known and popular Google search engine recently instituted a search option for scholarly materials and noted that this is becoming a popular feature for students and faculty. The search is targeted for higher education.

“If you know how to Google, you can now search scholarly journals as well and be directed to the nearest library that has the material,” Bukralia explains. “We wanted to tap into this latest trend. This search gives power to users to find the resources. Now the ordinary user is empowered to find scholarly information in other libraries and makes our resources known to anyone conducting this type of search.”

Bukralia explained that the BHSU library holdings are already entered into an international bibliographic data base known as Online Computer Library Center “WorldCat.”

“The Google search provides another layer of access for our patrons and it’s a great promotional tool worldwide for our library,” Bukralia says. “We were the first library in South Dakota to offer this service.”

Now other state higher educational institutions are using the advancements developed by Bukralia to incorporate this service as well. The scholarly research option began with the 10 large university libraries across the country but is now being developed by other libraries as well. Because the library staff had already converted the library website to XML the data was readily available.

“That’s why we showed up first,” according to Bukralia.

Ed Erickson, director of the E.Y. Berry Library Learning Center, praised Bukralia for his efforts and noted that his foresight in developing technology has positioned the library to utilize new technology and has established itself as a regional leader in library technology.

Due to the many changes and advances, Bukralia has been called upon to make presentations at regional library meetings. He noted that many libraries have requested the code he has developed.

“We work in a collaborative environment,” Rajeev says. “Libraries are all about helping people out and we are glad to help other libraries when we can.”

Bukralia notes that many students rely on Hotmail or Yahoo to access their email. Tapping into this trend, the BHSU library has developed a myYahoo site on the library website. This link provides RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to students with news from the BHSU library.

“RSS is becoming very popular with students,” Bukralia says. “We are looking for trends and finding ways to communicate more effectively to meet the needs of our students.”

Currently to search the online library catalog there are several steps. Bukralia is working on ways to reduce those steps. One way to do that has been to offer a direct link for people who are using a Firefox browser users can search library catalog without going to the library website. Now other state higher educational institutions are using the advancements developed by Bukralia to incorporate this service as well.

Bukralia notes that the recent changes reflect an ongoing trend of incorporating technology in a variety of ways in the everyday operation of the library. BHSU’s library was the first to implement an fully automated library card system in South Dakota. The system, implemented at BHSU in 1986, was later adopted by the South Dakota Library Network and is used by nearly 65 libraries in the state. The statewide SDLN office is located on campus in the lower level of the library.

Bukralia is already looking to the future and is making plans for future advances including instituting pod-casting which will offer reference service through i-pods, a popular audio player device. Bukralia is also investigating the possibility of instituting an audio coding system for books and materials.

New faculty members join BHSU staff - top

New BHSU faculty members for the 2005-06 school yearA group of new faculty members recently joined the staff at Black Hills State University. New faculty members include: front row, left to right, Millie Halsey, adjunct art instructor; Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, assistant sociology professor; Alicia Caldanaro, reference librarian/instructor; Annette Reyerson, assistant marketing professor: Abigail Semple, geology instructor; Sasha Pursley, assistant history professor; Nancy Hall, dean of the College of Education; and Mato Standing High, American Indian studies instructor. Back row, left to right, are: Sandra Marker, sociology instructor; Barbara (Bobbi) Looney, humanities; Judith Neighbours, assistant psychology professor; Pat Simpson, director of the Rural Site-Bound Paraeducator Program; Robert Campbell, assistant history professor; Christian Nsiah, assistant economics professor; Steve Smiley, assistant men’s basketball coach; and Mary Husemann, assistant English professor. Faculty are preparing for the fall 2005 semester which begins Tuesday, Aug. 30.

More than 200 attend annual faculty/staff picnic - top

Dr. Thomas Flickema (right) prepares to draw the final door prize winner at the annual faculty/staff picnic which was held Tuesday evening at the Spearfish City Park. More than 210 people attended the picnic this year. The gathering, which was hosted by Arnie Hemmingson (left), chief information officer, and staff members from Information and Instructional Services, is a part of the annual in-service events. Fred Nelson (center) and Terry Hupp served as emcees. The BHSU Alumni Association provided door prizes.

Golden age activity tickets are available - top

Golden age activity tickets for senior citizens who wish to attend Black Hills State University activities are once again available for $10.

The golden age activity pass admits senior citizens to all regular athletic, theatre, and music events at the university. Special athletic events such as tournaments or playoff games are not included.

Tickets are available to anyone 65 years of age or older through the president’s office in Woodburn Hall room 201.

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