James Rankin elected as 19th president of the School of Mines

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The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has some new leadership coming its way.

This afternoon the South Dakota Board of Regents unanimously elected James Rankin as the university's 19th president.

The spot for president was open after Dr. Heather Wilson left in May to serve as the 24th Secretary of the United States Air Force.

James Rankin, also known as Jim, is a South Dakota native who graduated from SD Mines in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.

He served as the chief research officer at the University of Arkansas where he generated more than 50 start-up companies.

Rankin says he's happy to be back home at his alma mater and ready to help it grow.

James (Jim) Rankin says, "If I look at our acronym of SDSMT, I look at the first S as growing the students we have, I look at D as being development or fundraising, the second S is sponsored research, the M is multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary programs, and the T is our tenure and tenure track faculty."

President Rankin's inauguration will be next year on January 8th on campus.