Rick Melmer named dean of School of Education at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Rick Melmer, currently the Secretary of the Department of Education in South Dakota, has been named dean of the School of Education at The University of South Dakota. Melmer, who has a doctor of education degree from the University of Wyoming, will join USD in November. He replaces Linda Reetz, who served as interim dean for two years. She will resume her role as associate dean of the School of Education.

"I am delighted Dr. Melmer has accepted this opportunity to join The U," said James W. Abbott, president of The University of South Dakota. "A recognized leader in K-12 education in South Dakota, the region and the nation, Dr. Melmer is well-positioned to lead the School of Education, widely recognized throughout the region as a leader in the preparation of classroom teachers and administrators."

Abbott also praised Reetz, who was appointed interim dean in the fall of 2006, and added, "Dr. Reetz is a valuable resource both to the University and within the School of Education. She will play a critical role as we continue to ensure our faculty and students are positioned to succeed."

Melmer, appointed Secretary of the Department of Education in June 2003, is a member of the board of directors of the Council of Chief State School Officers and is presently serving a term as the organization’s president. Additionally, Melmer has been a member of the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education since 2005. Prior to his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Education, Melmer was superintendent of schools in the Watertown, S.D., School District for eight years where his responsibilities included serving as administrator of Lake Area Technical Institute. From 1991 to 1995, Melmer was superintendent of the Sioux Center Community School District in Sioux Center, Iowa.

A native of South Dakota, Melmer received an Ed.D. in elementary administration from the University of Wyoming. He also holds a master’s degree in elementary administration from South Dakota State University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and psychology from Dakota Wesleyan University. Melmer and his wife, Valerie, have three children, Tara, Megan and Sean.