RAPID CITY, S.D. — A graduate of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has been named the school’s 19th president.

The South Dakota Board of Regents announced the appointment Tuesday of Jim Rankin. Rankin grew up in Fort Pierre and graduated from SD Mines in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

He becomes president at the Rapid City campus on Jan. 8. Jan Puszynski (yawn push-IN’-skee) has served as interim president this year since Heather Wilson left the university to become U.S. Air Force secretary.

Rankin worked as vice-provost for research and economic development at the University of Arkansas. During his tenure the university generated more than 50 startup companies.

Rankin also was involved in research and economic development at Ohio University.

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