PIERRE, S.D. –  Today, Dr. Brian Maher, Executive Director and CEO of the South Dakota Board of Regents (BOR), announced his resignation effective at the end of his current contract, which runs through June 2023.


The past few years have been a wonderful complement to a career in education,” said Maher. “Beginning my professional life as first an educator, then a K12 administrator, and now as the Executive Director for South Dakota’s public university system, I feel especially fulfilled.”


Entering the Regental System in June 2020, Maher joined BOR during a time of uncertainty and opportunity. During the 2020 legislative session, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 55, which would become the groundwork for an in-depth look into the state’s higher education system. Results from the task force, led by Maher, included prioritized system-wide services, increased viability for University Centers (now known as University of South Dakota – Sioux Falls and Black Hills State University – Rapid City), and more than 30 other initiatives.


Additionally, during a period of double-digit inflation, students saw nearly identical tuition rates year-over-year throughout Maher’s tenure. This trend will potentially continue again this year due to efforts from the Board and legislative support.


“Brian’s leadership over the past three years truly impacted higher education in South Dakota,” said BOR Board President Pam Roberts. ” The Board tasked Brian to focus on accessibility, affordability, and retention for our public universities, and he delivered. These issues were at the forefront of every meaningful conversation he had with the Board. We are excited to continue Brian’s work with our next executive director.”


Nathan Lukkes will succeed Maher as the next Executive Director and CEO for the Board of Regents.


“Throughout the years, Nathan has shown strong leadership within the public university system and successful collaboration with our stakeholders,” said Roberts. “The Board is confident Brian and Nathan will work together in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”


Joining BOR in 2014, Lukkes began as the System Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development; he currently serves as Chief of Staff and General Counsel. Prior to his roles at BOR, Lukkes served as the Deputy Commissioner of the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development and as an attorney in Sioux Falls. Lukkes also served for ten years in the South Dakota Army National Guard.


“This departure comes with ease, knowing the Board Office is in such great hands,” said Maher. “Nathan has been a leader within the system and is highly trusted and valued.”