A five-year financial commitment from Black Hills
Corporation (BHC) to the accounting program in the
Beacom School of Business will help the program continue
to produce top-notch graduates.
BHC, a diversified energy company headquartered in
Rapid City, S.D., worked with the University of South
Dakota Foundation to set up the Distinguished Faculty
Development Fund, which will enhance faculty salaries in
the accounting program.
Two longtime professors of accounting, Tom Davies
and Srini Ragothaman, were chosen to honor this gift
as Black Hills Corporation Distinguished Professors
of Accounting. Mike Keller, dean of the Beacom
School of Business, explained why. “Drs. Davies and
Ragothaman are senior faculty who have many years
of glowing student evaluations and leading reputations
among their peers as excellent researchers. Having the
respect of both students and peers is a ‘grand slam’ in
higher education.”
With the fund established, the BHC hopes to per-
petuate the high-quality students available from USD’s
accounting program.
Perry Krush ’81, vice president of supply chain at
BHC, elaborated on why the company decided to sup-
port this particular initiative. “We want to assure that
the quality of the USD B School educational programs is
superior,” he explained. “Our company understands that
inspiring and passionate professors are keys to attracting
the best and brightest students into the accounting and
finance profession and we are willing to make a financial
commitment to support that
In addition to its support of the accounting faculty, BHC
actively recruits interns and graduates from the Beacom
School of Business for accounting and finance-related posi-
tions and has a considerable number of USD alumni at work
in the company. BHC also made a financial contribution to
support the 2009 construction of Beacom Hall.
Black Hills Corporation’s electric utilities provide service
to approximately 202,000 customers in South Dakota,
Wyoming, Colorado and Montana; its gas utilities serve
approximately 564,000 customers in Colorado, Nebraska,
Iowa, Kansas and Wyoming. BHC’s non-regulated busi-
nesses include oil and gas exploration and production,
power generation and coal mining.
2012 9
Black Hills Corporation
Sets Up Development Fund
L-R: Dean Mike Keller, Srini Ragothaman and Tom Davies