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.
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.
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.
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.