VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota has named Travis Letellier the interim associate vice president for diversity. Letellier fills in for Lamont Sellers, who announced his resignation earlier this spring.
“Travis is an influential member of the university’s community and a champion for all students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “He upholds USD’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence, and he will be an exceptional lead in the university’s efforts to promote diversity. He has also been a proponent of development for the City of Vermillion and the state of South Dakota. The Office for Diversity is in good hands with Travis as associate vice president.”
Letellier has been at USD for five years as an instructor of economics in the Beacom School of Business and director of the South Dakota Council for Economic Education (SDCEE), a Beacom outreach service.
He is a member of the university’s Strategic Planning Task Force, the Sanford School of Medicine’s Strategic Planning Task Force, Beacom’s Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee, and the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusiveness. As a member of the President’s Council, Letellier acts as a point person for LGBTQ+ issues and advocacy.
He is a founding commissioner and chair of the City of Vermillion's Human Relations Commission, and he currently serves on the city’s Home Rule Committee. Letellier is also a member of the steering committee for VermillionNext, the Vermillion Area Chamber & Development Company’s (VCDC) young professional’s network, and he serves on the VCDC’s Government Affairs Committee.
As director of the SDCEE, Letellier works with South Dakota K-12 teachers to improve the quality and quantity of statewide economic and financial literacy education. He is also a board member and past chair of Equality South Dakota, the only statewide LGBTQ+ advocacy group in South Dakota.
Letellier grew up on a family ranch on the Rosebud Reservation, north of Mission, South Dakota. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and he completed advanced degrees in economics at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Prior to returning to South Dakota, Letellier was an economics lecturer at Florida International University, Penn State University and Washington College.