Published April 27, 2016
BROOKINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA – Barry Dunn, the endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, director of SDSU Extension, and professor of animal science at South Dakota State University, will become SDSU’s 20th president, the South Dakota Board of Regents announced Monday.
Dunn is a enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
Dunn, who graduated from SDSU with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1975 and later completed two graduate degrees at the Brookings campus, is described by friends as a “servant leader who bleeds Yellow and Blue,” referring to the school’s colors. He becomes president at the Brookings campus this summer, succeeding President David L. Chicoine, who will continue as a faculty member in the university’s Department of Economics.
“I am honored and humbled to have been chosen for this prestigious position. I want to thank the Board of Regents and the members of the search committee for their confidence in me. I would also like to express my love and thanks to my wife, Jane, and our sons, Thomas and Michael, who have been wonderfully supportive. Friends from across our beautiful state have also been very helpful, and I am sincerely appreciative of their efforts,” Dunn said.
“Throughout his career, Dr. Barry Dunn has tackled challenges and built teams that consistently resulted in successful solutions and outcomes. In his time at SDSU, he has demonstrated time and again his leadership and vision for the state’s land-grant institution within South Dakota and across our region,” said Regent Kathryn Johnson, who chaired the presidential search committee. “Dr. Dunn has a deep understanding of SDSU and the state. Every day, he is working to make strong connections between this university and policymakers, alumni, donors, faculty and staff, academic and athletic organizations, business leaders, and the agricultural industry. Barry Dunn demonstrated to our search committee he was absolutely the right choice to advance this university forward. We are thrilled to keep him right here at SDSU and to work closely with him in his new role as president.”
As the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council endowed dean of agriculture and biological sciences since 2010, Dunn administered a $78 million annual budget, which included more than $20 million in grant and contract awards, along with fundraising and development. He first worked in Brookings as an Extension livestock specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Range Science from 1997 to 2004. He returned to SDSU after spending six years at Texas A&M University-Kingsville as executive director of the King Ranch Institute for Range Management. Along with his undergraduate biology degree, he holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in animal science, all from SDSU.
In his application to the search committee, Dunn shared that he has experienced SDSU from more vantage points than most: as a dean, professor, researcher, student, father, business owner, and resident. He further shared his commitment to the mission of SDSU by stating: “The land-grant university system stands as a beacon of opportunity for all. Its tri-part mission of education, research, and outreach is grounded in our nation’s democratic principles of equality. The commitment to access for all remains a distinctive and powerful tool to enable each American to reach his or her own unique potential. As a point of pride for our state, and as a land-grant university, we must promote and carry out this noble mission.”
“I am so proud of South Dakota State University and grateful for the outstanding leadership of those who have served before me,” he said. “President Chicoine has been a transformational leader of this university. Generations of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and stakeholders will reap the benefit of his amazing vision and countless accomplishments. President Emeritus Peggy Miller’s courageous leadership will always serve as a beacon for me to follow as well. Our university is a dynamic place of learning, discovery, and outreach, and ready to move to even greater heights. It is my distinct privilege to have been chosen to lead our continued ascent to excellence.”
South Dakota State University’s history and future are dedicated to exceptional teaching and learning, scholarship, research, creative activity, and transference of knowledge for the benefit of students, community, and the citizens of South Dakota and beyond. SDSU’s 580 faculty serve nearly 13,000 students from every state and 81 countries. The Brookings campus houses more than 4,000 students and includes a diverse number of academic colleges, including: Agriculture and Biological Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Pharmacy, along with a University College (provides early assistance and development for student success), an Honors College, and a Graduate School. SDSU also serves students at multi-institutional learning centers and off-campus locations in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen.
Dunn lives with his wife, Jane Dunn, on her family’s original homestead north of Brookings, where they raised their two sons. Before returning to college and becoming a professor, Dunn ranched with his family near Mission, S.D, for 17 years.