SD Board of Regents
306 East Capitol Ave
Suite 200
Pierre, SD 57501
605 773 3455
Rhoda Smith
​Rhoda Smith

Rhoda Smith​



Respected administrator with over ten years Senior Student Affairs Administration service and twelve years of experience in a comprehensive range of oversight roles at reputable universities with enrollments ranging from 1,200 to 15,000 students. Ten additional years' experience as professional staff and administrator in human services and public administration areas.

Visionary leader who has initiated and led campaigns and committees resulting in measurable improvements in enrollment, retention, and student support services. Recognized for fostering diversity and community on campuses. Experienced in major building projects management totaling over $15M. Experienced in grants development and management.

Dynamic collaborator with an aptitude for working fairly and effectively with students, clients, staff, alumni, parents, community leaders and government officials

Fiscally responsible leader who has managed complex budgets in excess of $10 million

Effective administrator, counselor and mentor with experience leading and motivating teams
Serving as the Project Director for South Dakota Jump Start, Rhoda Smith works from an office at South Dakota State University but serves the six public universities in the South Dakota Board of Regents System and Oglala Lakota College. She divides her time between Brookings and her home in Minnesota


My father finished eighth grade in a one-room school house and then began farming with his father. My roots in South Dakota go back 4 generations. My mother was a teacher – with a college degree that was only made possible by the vision, support and untimely death of her eldest brother during World War II. His life insurance paid for her to go to college. I earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in art, English and secondary education at the University of Minnesota Morris as a traditional student. Some time later, I returned to graduate school as a non-traditional student with a full-time job and a small child. I completed a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Public and Human Service Administration – a program that required traveling 200 miles round-trip twice a week to attend classes. I know that each of faces challenges – some we see and easily understand and some we don’t – my hope is to make the path a little easier for those who come after me is seeking a college education.
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