Dr. Paul Beran, former University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Chancellor, will step down as the executive director and CEO of the South Dakota Board of Regents at the when his contract expires in June.
Beran has served as the head of the governing board for South Dakota’s six public universities since 2018.
“I have appreciated the last several years working for the Board of Regents, but the board has informed me they want to go a different direction in leadership, and I fully understand their right to exercise that change,” Beran said.
In his statement, Beran said he would help in the transition and his time working with South Dakota’s higher education system.
“South Dakota should be proud of its higher education system. All six universities and the two special schools serve the state in a highly coordinated, efficient approach that utilizes shared services in a way that is the envy of many state systems,” he said.
Regents President Kevin Schieffer, president of the South Dakota Board of Regents, said the board will announce next steps for the search for a new executive director after it meets through a teleconference Wednesday (April 1.)
“The board would like to thank Dr. Beran for his service to our state,” Schieffer said. “He has helped prepare the system to move forward to find greater efficiency and effectiveness in future operations. As the system evolves, the Board of Regents is ready to analyze the system’s functionality in new and innovative ways. The board wishes him well as he transitions into future opportunities.”
Beran said during his tenure with the board of regents, he helped hire a new president at Black Hills State University and a new superintendent of the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Aberdeen, S.D., and has seen much accomplished over the last two South Dakota legislative sessions with new opportunities for individual institutions and collaborative programs that include multiple institutions.
Beran served as the UAFS chancellor for 12 years and for five years was president at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. He stepped down as UAFS chancellor Aug. 31, 2018, to take on the role with the South Dakota Board of Regents.
He became the UAFS chancellor in July 2006. During that time, UAFS transitioned more fully from a two-year college to a master’s degree-granting regional university. A statement from UAFS at the time Beran announced his resignation noted that his tenure included “an expansion of bachelor’s degree programs, a renovation and expansion of Boreham Library, the university’s move to NCAA Division II athletics, the construction of Windgate Art & Design and the Recreation and Wellness Center, and the graduation of thousands of students over the last twelve years.”