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South Dakota Mines president announces retirement

Jim Rankin
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Jim Rankin

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology president Jim Rankin has announced his retirement.

However, he said this doesn’t mean the end of his involvement with the Hardrocker community.

Rankin has worked in education since 1989, and formally tendered his retirement with the institution effective June 21. He’s been president for six years.

The 67-year-old Mines alumnus said the decision has been a few months coming.

“My wife and I talked about it over the Christmas break, and decided maybe this was the right time to do it," Rankin said. We’ve got children and grandchildren spread out on the East Coast and West Coast and it gives us a chance to go visit more and take advantage of family time.”

Despite the development, Rankin said he can’t leave the community that made him feel so welcome.

“I’ll always be an alumni of this institution," Rankin said. "We’ve got a strong alumni network that does a lot of communications that really keeps you involved in the communications and really keeps you involved with what’s going on on campus. The folks that are here realize what a great place this is. We often talk about this being family – they did their two days of interviews and talking to people, and then they did an exit interview with me – before we started the first thing the chair said was 'you really are a family here.' You are a part of the Hardrocker family, whether you’re located in Rapid City and the Black Hills or located someplace else around the world.”

Preparing for retirement, Rankin has nothing but positive things to say about the people of this campus.

“We just have so many exciting things happening here. Great faculty, great staff and great students," Rankin said. "It’s just an exciting place to be and an exciting place to be president.”

As the academic year wraps up, Rankin says he’s ready to take his next steps in coming days and weeks.

The Board of Regents says the search for Rankin’s replacement begins this summer.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture