SD Board of Regents elects new officers
SPEARFISH, S.D. — On Tuesday, members of the South Dakota Board of Regents elected new officers for the upcoming year.
Pam Roberts of Pierre was chosen as president. Roberts was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2016 by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, and she retired from state government after a career in senior leadership roles serving on the cabinet of five South Dakota governors, including positions as state Labor Secretary, Personnel Commissioner, and Chief of Operations.
She will replace John W. Bastian, who served as president since 2020. Bastian will continue to serve as a member of the board.
Jim Thares of Aberdeen was chosen as vice president. Thares is the founder and CEO of Primrose Retirement Communities, an Aberdeen company founded in 1989 that currently operates 35 senior living communities in 16 states. He was appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in 2017.
Thares has worked in hotel development and as a certified public accountant.
The Board of Regents also selected Tony Venhuizen to be the board’s secretary. Prior to his current employment with Standard Trust Company, Venhuizen served as chief of staff in the administrations of Gov. Kristi Noem and Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
As an education policy adviser in the Governor’s Office, Venhuizen chaired the Council on Higher Education Policy Goals, Performance, and Accountability and the Open Government Task Force. He was appointed by Gov. Noem in 2021.
The South Dakota Board of Regents is a governing board that controls the six public universities in South Dakota by providing leadership and setting policies for the programs and services delivered through the universities. They also govern the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the South Dakota School for the Deaf.