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Beacom School of Business announces new faculty coordinators for M.B.A. and M.P.A. programs at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business announced new faculty coordinators for the Master of Professional Accountancy and Master of Business Administration programs. Kathryn Birkeland, Ph.D. will take over as faculty coordinator for the school’s M.P.A. program, while Mandie Weinandt, Ph.D. (A.B.D.) will oversee the M.B.A. program as faculty coordinator.

Both Birkeland and Weinandt started at USD in the fall of 2011. Their new roles involve responsibilities with the on-campus and online programs, focusing on the operation and growth of the programs, curricular innovation and student success. The coordinators will work with faculty, business leaders and alumni to ensure the success of the programs in the rapidly changing environment of business.

Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean of the Beacom School of Business, announced the new positions earlier this month after a long decision-making process.

“I carefully evaluated all the faculty and staff comments and ratings, and discussed with the chairs and the current graduate programs director in making my decision,” Venkatachalam said. He added that both positions will be effective starting Jan. 1, 2015.

Photographs of Birkeland and Weinandt are available for download at and


USD's Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.


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