Photo of flowers on the University of South Dakota's campus

The ideal candidate will be an experienced leader with a demonstrated track record of providing strategic vision and leading institutional growth with strong interpersonal skills. USD is a liberal arts-focused research university, and candidates should have an appreciation for the wide range of programs offered across campus.

The president of USD will be a key leader and visible ambassador in the local community and be expected to be a visible, active participant in town and gown relations. Candidates should be externally focused with a history of successful fundraising. The president should also be accessible to students and highly engaged in campus events.

It will be important that the incoming president has a demonstrated commitment to shared governance and the democratic process. A collaborative and transparent approach will be key to success.

Qualities & Characteristics

Strong candidates will have many of the following qualities and characteristics:

  • Ability to lead a high functioning executive team capable of making decisions in the best interests of the entire university
  • Strong track record of academic excellence
  • High level of emotional intelligence and strong interpersonal skills
  • Student-oriented; committed to student success
  • Accessible and visible
  • Experienced fundraiser; demonstrated ability to cultivate and close major gifts, both in and out of a comprehensive campaign
  • Ability to develop strong relationships and work productively with state legislators
  • Strategic thinker; visionary and forward-thinking
  • Entrepreneurial
  • A strong command of oral and written communication, including effectiveness as an active listener
  • Ability to make tough decisions in an environment of shared governance
  • Ability to bring people together, make strong connections and build partnerships
  • Encouraging, supportive, and positive with a sense of humor
  • A deep understanding of the higher education landscape and forces that impact its future
  • Transparent and communicative
  • Skilled in crisis management
  • Ability to thrive in a rural campus environment
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a system of higher education