The President of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology had died. School officials confirmed Robert Wharton’s death this morning (September 19, 2012). South Dakota Board of Regents C-E-O Jack Warner says Wharton’s tenure brought the School of Mines into regional and national prominence.
“He provided, I thought, wonderful leadership for this institution, advancing its academic quality, advancing its service to students. The students I’ve talked to over the years have been quite well satisfied with the education they’re getting here and the way the School of Mines operates with the comfortable atmosphere here, while challenging them to do well,” says Warner.
President Robert Wharton had been diagnosed with cancer in his neck last year, but was declared cancer-free this spring. Warner says Wharton’s unexpected death has deeply affected students and staff at the School of Mines.
“You can see it on the faces of the people here—on the campus. They are deeply saddened, they have lost their leader. He has been a strong leader and an effective one. He was much loved here, and highly respected. You can certainly see that,” says Warner.
Warner says President Wharton was a close confidant—he says they would talk about issues that impact the School of Mines and the University System.
Flags are at half-staff on the Rapid City campus—funeral arrangements are pending.
School of Mines Provost Duane Hrncir has been named acting president.
SDSM&T President Robert Wharton Dies
By Cara Hetland • Sep 19, 2012