Ruch Chosen as New SDSMT President
RAPID CITY Charles Ruch, president of Boise State University, will become the 17th president of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the South Dakota Board of Regents announced Tuesday.
Ruch will assume leadership of the Rapid City campus on July 1. He replaces Richard Gowen, who retires June 30 after 16 years as SDSMT president.
Dr. Ruch is widely recognized for his collaborative style and his commitment to building an economic development connection between the university and the community, said Regent Pat Lebrun, who chaired the Regents presidential search. These are experiences and talents that the Board of Regents looks forward to having him apply here in South Dakota and the Rapid City area.
Ruch has been president of Boise State University for 10 years. Under his leadership, the school has grown into Idahos largest university, serving 17,000 students in a rapidly growing metropolitan area. The institutions research and development budget also has grown to $20 million during Ruchs tenure.
I was very interested in the work under way here in South Dakota to link higher education and economic development, Ruch said. Public higher education has much to offer by way of its research capacity and faculty expertise to South Dakotas economic development resources.
Ruch will also focus on new ways to collaborate with SDSMTs sister institution at Black Hills State University. South Dakota Tech and Black Hills State have complementary missions, Regents President Harvey C. Jewett said. We are anxious to put Dr. Ruchs leadership, in concert with Black Hills State President Tom Flickema, to work in this area.
The new SDSMT president has Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in education from Northwestern University and a bachelors degree in chemistry from The College of Wooster (Ohio). Prior to his time at Boise State, Ruch served 11 years at Virginia Commonwealth Universityfirst as an associate dean and dean and for the remaining six years as provost and vice president for academic affairs. His first university assignments came at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a faculty member and department chair.
An active participant in regional and national higher education organizations, Ruch has chaired the Urban and Metropolitan Universities Committee for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He has also served on the presidents councils of the Big Sky, Big West, and Western Athletic conferences and currently serves as chair of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
He is actively involved in the Boise community, where he has chaired the United Way board and the Future Foundation of Boise and has served on the chamber of commerce board. He and his wife, Sally, have four grown children.
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