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Black Hills Corporation commitment aids USD accounting program

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business accounting program has received a five-year financial commitment from Black Hills Corporation (BHC) to ensure that the program continues to produce first-rate graduates.

BHC, a diversified energy company headquartered in Rapid City, S.D., worked with the USD Foundation to establish and fund the Distinguished Faculty Development Fund, which will enhance faculty salaries in the accounting program. Two professors of accounting, Tom Davies and Srini Ragothaman, were selected with this gift as Black Hills Corporation Distinguished Professors of Accounting. Davies was cited for great teaching, Ragothaman for great research.

According to Mike Keller, dean of the Beacom School of Business, Davies and Ragothaman are senior faculty with many years of favorable student evaluations and solid reputations among their peers as excellent researchers. “Having the respect of both students and peers is a ‘grand slam’ in higher education,” Keller added.

Davies, LL.M., joined the faculty at USD in 1987 and is associate dean of the Beacom School of Business. He primarily teaches undergraduate and graduate tax courses at USD while his research interests include tax complexity and ethics. A Certified Public Accountant, Davies received his LL.M. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Ragothaman is the Accounting Internship Coordinator at USD. He received his M.S. in Business Administration from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in Business from the University of Kansas. A Chartered Accountant, Ragothaman joined the USD faculty in 1991. His teaching experience includes graduate and undergraduate courses in auditing and accounting.

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 positions and has several USD alumni working at the company. BHC also made a significant financial contribution to support the 2009 construction of Beacom Hall.

“We want to assure that the quality of the USD Beacom School of Business educational programs is superior,” explained Perry Krush ’81, vice president of supply chain at BHC. “Our company understands that 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.”

Download a photograph of Keller (left), Ragothaman and Davies (with their awards).


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News