South Dakota State University president to step down

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota State University President David Chicoine is stepping down to teach in the university's economics department, the state Board of Regents said Monday.

The board said Chicoine, who has been in the role since 2007, will leave the post around July 2016 — or sooner if a replacement is found. Regents President Randy Schaefer said in a statement that the school has "flourished" under Chicoine.

Chicoine, who graduated from the university in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in agribusiness, said his proudest achievements as the school's leader have involved helping students, faculty and others be successful.

"I started my academic career as an assistant professor, and it'll be a great opportunity to finish it as a faculty member in the Department of Economics," said Chicoine, 68, adding that he and his wife have considered the return to his alma mater a privilege. "We've enjoyed every minute."

Schaefer said the board will soon announce a presidential search process and timeline to choose a new university president.

The largest fundraising campaign for education in state history was completed during Chicoine's tenure, according to the board. Research activity also experienced significant growth under his leadership.

With Chicoine at the helm, the school completed the transition to Division I athletics, where the Jackrabbits have in many respects enjoyed more success than they did at the Division II level.

Eighteen Jackrabbit teams have qualified for NCAA Division I national competitions under Chicoine's watch, led by six tournament appearances in women's basketball. The achievements also include back-to-back appearances in the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 2012-13, and five trips to the Football Championship Subdivision tournament.

Before serving as president at South Dakota State University, Chicoine worked for the University of Illinois for more than 30 years, most recently as vice president for technology and economic development.

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