VERMILLION, S.D. -- Gov. Mike Rounds has proclaimed Tuesday as a special day to honor a University of South Dakota economics professor.
"Dr. Robert J. Tosterud Day" is Tuesday, June 30 in South Dakota honoring the professor emeritus of economics and Freeman Chair of Entrepreneurial Studies at USD. In recognition of Tosterud, Rounds has issued an executive proclamation praising Tosterud's numerous accomplishments during his 18 years as a member of the USD faculty as well as his years of service as a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors.
"I don't know what to say, other than whatever I did during the last 18 years to cause the governor to honor me in this way is the product of what South Dakota has done for me and to me during those years," noted Tosterud, Ph.D., who retired in May 2009 from The U. "Every encounter with a South Dakotan, whether as a student, colleague, or citizen has added value to my career and life."
Throughout his tenure at USD, Tosterud has received several awards and accolades. Twice he was named "Teacher of the Year" by the USD Student Association (1993, 2000) and in 1994, Tosterud was the recipient of the Freedom's Foundation $15,000 Leavey Award for "Excellence in Private Enterprise Education." In 2008, he received the Beacom School of Business “Outstanding Research Award.” Additionally, Tosterud was selected as one of the nation's 10 best entrepreneurship educators by Inc. Magazine, Merrill Lynch and the Kauffman Foundation. In 1999 he was selected as the Visiting Scholar in Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth at the Library of Congress. He and his wife, Karen, have developed four businesses, including their most recent venture “His Essence,” which wholesales candles with very special scents.
Prior to coming to South Dakota in the summer of 1991, Tosterud was the Economics Program Officer for the Ford Foundation in New York City. Most of his time on the East Coast, however, was spent in Washington, D.C., where Bob served for seven years as Senior Economist and Staff Director of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and for four years in various positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Tosterud began his professional career at North Dakota State University where he served as director of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute and assistant professor of agricultural economics. He has taught in various capacities at six universities, is the founder of the National Council of Entrepreneurship Chairs, a director of the International Institute for Entrepreneurship Development, and former chair of the Nontraditional Academics Committee and the Distinguished Chairs Committee of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management. Tosterud also founded CAFE (Community and Family Enterprise), a small town development program, the South Dakota Family Business Initiative and an entrepreneurship partnership between USD and Sitting Bull Tribal College. His rural and small town development interests have taken him around the world to places such as South Africa, Australia and Germany.
"I'm certain that I have received more than I have given," added Tosterud, a native of Des Plaines, Ill., who received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in business economics from North Dakota State University, and his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. "I will forever be grateful and while I needed to move closer to family at retirement, I like to think people will always see me as a South Dakotan."
A photograph of Tosterud is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Bob_Tosterud.jpg.