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January 11, 2018 05:15 PM

New SDSMT President Setting Goals For University

Rapid City, SD

As students have their first week back after winter break, so does one college president in KELOLAND. Jim Rankin is starting his job at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. 

President Jim Rankin isn't spending his first week on campus sitting behind a desk, in fact, it's just the opposite.

"It's really been exciting, it's been a good chance to get to meet some of the students, get to meet some of the faculty, just to kind of reacquaint myself on campus," President Jim Rankin said.

Something students are happy to see.

"It's really good to have a personable person and someone that's friendly and someone that wants to engage with the students and that's exactly what the president has been doing," Ariana Lopez, SDSMT student said.

While it's only Rankin's fourth day on campus as president, he knows the school well.  Rankin was a student at the School of Mines and has big plans for his alma mater. 

"We need to get out and do some fundraising, we'd like to increase the number of scholarships that we have so that we can help students afford to come get a college education here at the School of Mines," Rankin said. "What can we do to increase the research we do that benefits not only faculty members but the students that participate."

Students also have ideas of their own.

"Bridging the gap between Mines and downtown Rapid City, and really building a good environment of entrepreneurship," Aaron Campbell, SDSMT student said.

Leaving Rankin ready for his new position.

"Very positive, I think there's a lot of opportunities," Rankin said.

Rankin graduated from the School of Mines in 1978 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He will serve as the university's 19th president.  

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