The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has a new president. The college needed to fill the position after the former president accepted a position as U.S. Secretary of the Air Force.
James Rankin is the new president of the school of Mines.
Rankin grew up in Fort Pierre. He is currently the Vice Provost for research and economic Development at the University of Arkansas.
Rankin says he has plans for growth and development at Mines. He says this includes focusing on retention.
"Part of that is going out and doing out recruitment. We need to keep looking to bring in more students to the university. But we also need to make sure we’re retaining the students that we have. Making sure that we’re helping them with the course work that they might need. Making sure that we’re doing place making. Are they comfortable being here? Sometimes coming to a larger town like Rapid can be a little bit intimidating so we need to work on that so that they want to stay here."
He says making sure students get a proper education depends heavily on teachers.
"The heart of the university are really our tenure and tenure track faculty. They’re the ones that are doing a lot of the teaching. They’re doing a lot of the research. They’re doing a lot of the service and we need to make sure that we’re giving them the resources they need to be successful."
Rankin is scheduled to begin work at the campus on January 8th.