PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Board of Regents announced four finalists who are in the running to become the next president of Black Hills State University. The Chair of the presidential search process, Regent Jeff Partridge, expressed his satisfaction with the quality of candidates who applied and confirmed that the finalists will visit the university campus in Spearfish from November 13-14. During their visit, they will meet with constituents and regents to further discuss their candidacy.


The finalists, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

  • Dr. Matt Cecil is originally from South Dakota. He currently serves as the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Northern Kentucky University, located in Highland Heights, Kentucky. Previously, he has worked as a dean, interim provost, and senior vice president for academic affairs at Minnesota State University (MSU)-Mankato. Dr. Cecil has also been a faculty member at Wichita State University and South Dakota State University. He holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in history from MSU-Mankato.
  • Dr. Frederick Chilson is the current Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC), located in Lewiston, Idaho, where he previously served as dean. Additionally, Dr. Chilson was a faculty member, and department chair at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana and also worked as a faculty member at Eastern New Mexico University and Adams State University. He spent time in the private sector early in his career. Dr. Chilson holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with emphasis in learning technology from New Mexico State University, as well as a master’s degree in human resource development from Idaho State University.
  • Steve Elliott currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wayne State College (WSC) in Wayne, Nebraska. He has been part of the WSC community since 2003 and has held various positions, including faculty member, department chair, and dean, before accepting a vice president role in 2016. Elliott holds a master of fine arts degree (the highest degree in that field) from the University of Maryland and served in the US Marine Corps.
  • Dr. Angie Fincannon is the current Dean of the College of Business at Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has a diverse background, serving as a collegiate-level volleyball coach, faculty member, dean, assistant provost, and athletic director at Taylor University. Later, she held the position of vice chancellor for advancement at Indiana University Purdue University – Fort Wayne. Dr. Fincannon has an Ed. D. in educational administration and a master’s degree in education and administration from Ball State University.


During their visit to the campus, the candidates will have the opportunity to meet with faculty members, students, administrative and professional staff, civil service employees, representatives of the BHSU Foundation, university alums, and the Spearfish community. On Tuesday, the Board of Regents will hold private meetings with each finalist and with the campus representatives of the search committee.


The cover letters and professional resumes for each finalist are available online at bhsu.edu/president/presidential-search/candidates.