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Beacom School of Business Announces New Associate Dean and Department Chair

USD The USD Beacom School of Business named Kathryn Birkeland, Ph.D., interim associate dean of the Beacom School of Business. Thomas Tiahrt, Ph.D., has been appointed interim chair of the economics and decisions sciences division.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business named Kathryn Birkeland, Ph.D., interim associate dean of the Beacom School of Business. Thomas Tiahrt, Ph.D., has been appointed interim chair of the economics and decision sciences division. Both will start their new positions on January 1, 2021.

Current Associate Dean De Vee Dykstra, J.D., will step down from her role and return to faculty as a tenured full professor to continue her passion for teaching, research and service to USD.

“Associate Dean De Vee Dykstra has provided strong leadership to all of our academic endeavors over the past five years,” said Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean of the Beacom School of Business. “She has played a significant role in the development of many new academic programs, including our successful reaccreditation efforts, faculty recruiting, and managing our undergraduate and graduate recruiting and advising operations. I am grateful for her dedication and hard work, and I know she will continue to make an impact in the classroom and through her research.”

Kathryn Birkeland headshot

Birkeland is currently chair of the economics and decision sciences division and associate professor of economics. Recently she played an active role in the successful AACSB reaccreditation efforts at the Beacom School of Business and has served the university in various capacities.

“Dr. Birkeland is an outstanding teacher and researcher, and she continues to provide highly distinguished service to the Beacom School of Business and USD,” continued Venkatachalam. “She brings significant talent, energy, and innovative ideas on our continued efforts to achieve national and global recognition for the Beacom School of Business.”

Thomas Tiahrt

Thomas Tiahrt, Ph.D., will step into the role of interim chair of the economics and decision sciences division of the Beacom School of Business. He is an associate professor of decision sciences, POET Professor of Business Analytics, program coordinator for the Master of Science in Business Analytics and the undergraduate operational analytics major.

“Dr. Tiahrt has been instrumental in developing the analytics program at the Beacom School of Business. I look forward to his leadership support and collaboration as a member of the Beacom Executive Committee,” said Venkatachalam. 

ABOUT THE BEACOM SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

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.

ABOUT USD

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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