Students Walking Outdoors.

Purpose & Leadership

USD is a regionally acclaimed and nationally recognized high-quality public liberal arts university. President Sheila K. Gestring and her executive committee lead USD's excellent teaching, effective service and innovative research. USD leadership values our faculty, field experts, community and students.

President Sheila K. Gestring

Sheila K. Gestring, M.B.A., became the 18th president of the University of South Dakota in 2018, after serving as chief financial officer since 2010 and a part of the USD finance staff since 2006. She is a South Dakota native, and the second USD graduate and woman to serve as president.

Learn About President Gestring

Strategic Plan

During the 2019-2020 academic year USD was engaged in a collaborative strategic planning process that involved over 1,000 internal and external stakeholders.  With this planning effort, we generated and agreed on six strategic themes that will shape our time, attention and resources through 2026.

Strategic Plan

University Senate

The USD University Senate is the faculty representative body. The Senate has the responsibility to act as the voice of the faculty and helps to oversee university curriculum, student organizations and provides recommendations for graduation among other duties.

University Senate

President's Executive Leadership Institute

Explore the complex world of higher education and gain valuable and transferable leadership skills through the President's Executive Leadership Institute. Through this unique professional development opportunity for campus-based administrators and leaders, program fellows will learn about issues facing higher education broadly and the University of South Dakota specifically.

President's Executive Leadership Institute

executive committee

Get to know the administrators that serve on President Gestring's executive committee. USD's executive committee leaders contribute expertise in resourceful and strategic planning that drives the university forward.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kurt Hackemer

Kurt Hackemer

Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost


19th Century American Military & Naval History
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jordan Bonstrom

Jordan Bonstrom

Director of the Opportunity Center
Bio Image for Faculty Member Daniel Engebretson

Daniel Engebretson

Vice President for Research & Sponsored Programs
Bio Image for Faculty Member AJ Franken

AJ Franken

General Counsel
Bio Image for Faculty Member Julie Kriech

Julie Kriech

Vice President for Finance & Administration
Bio Image for Faculty Member Laura McNaughton

Laura McNaughton

Chief of Staff, Director for Government Affairs
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jay Perry

Jay Perry

Vice President for USD – Sioux Falls
Bio Image for Faculty Member Scott Pohlson

Scott Pohlson

Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing & University Relations & Student Services
Bio Image for Faculty Member Tim Ridgway

Tim Ridgway

Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean of the Sanford School of Medicine
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jon Schemmel

Jon Schemmel

Athletic Director
Noah Shepard smiling.

Noah Shepard

President & CEO USD Foundation and Alumni Association
Bio Image for Faculty Member Cheryl Tiahrt

Cheryl Tiahrt

Chief Information Officer