DSU interim president selected by SBHE as permanent president

DSU interim president selected by SBHE as permanent president

During a State Board of Higher Education meeting held via interactive video network (IVN) technology today, interim Dickinson State University Stephen D. Easton was named the permanent president of Dickinson State University.

The State Board of Higher Education selected Easton as the 13th president of DSU. He had been serving as interim president since November. The Board interviewed Easton on the Bismarck State College campus. The decision was made to interview and then later select Easton based on the leadership he has shown during necessary budget cuts happening at DSU.

Board Chair Nick Hacker said, “President Easton has proven that he can lead during difficult times and the Board has confidence that he can bring Dickinson State University to the next level to meet the new dual mission model that is certain to serve student and workforce needs now and into the future.”

During his interview, Easton talked about his leadership philosophy. “My dad, a DSU grad and longtime college administrator, taught me to put students first, whenever possible. Dickinson State is blessed with a staff and faculty dedicated to that philosophy. This unusual and challenging semester demonstrates their commitment to our students. It is inspiring to see DSU’s staff and faculty working overtime to continue the quality education of DSU’s wonderful students, even though we cannot meet with those students face-to-face in traditional classrooms the rest of the semester.”

As interim, Easton replaced Dr. Thomas Mitzel, who was named president of Kentucky Wesleyan last fall.

Easton has a strong personal connection to Dickinson State University. Easton, who graduated summa cum laude from DSU in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting, and a minor in political science, was the third generation of his family to choose Dickinson State. His son became the most recent Easton to graduate from DSU in 2016.

After earning his undergraduate degree at DSU, Easton enrolled in Stanford Law School where he earned his Juris Doctorate in 1983. Easton practiced law for almost 20 years before returning to higher education as a professor and administrator.

“It is a huge honor to be given the chance to continue to work with Dickinson State’s students, faculty, staff, and other supporters. In my short time back, I have been very impressed by the can-do spirit of DSU and those who love her. Right now, during a challenging semester for DSU and other colleges, DSU staff, faculty, and students are shining. Their creativity and hard work in transitioning to the temporary online learning environment are awe-inspiring. It is unfortunate that everyone does not have the opportunity I have to see that hard work and creativity. What a special place our beloved college on the hill is!”