Pam Roberts chosen by governor to serve on SD Board of Regents

PIERRE--Pam Roberts of Pierre, a retired longtime leader in state government, will succeed Terry Baloun of Sioux Falls on the state Board of Regents.

PIERRE-Pam Roberts of Pierre, a retired longtime leader in state government, will succeed Terry Baloun of Sioux Falls on the state Board of Regents.

The regents govern South Dakota's state universities and special schools. Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced the Roberts appointment Wednesday afternoon.

Baloun, a retired banker, is finishing his second six-year term on the board. Then-Gov. Mike Rounds appointed him in 2004. He is the board's secretary and is a past president.

The retirement of Baloun takes effect April 2 after his final board meeting next week. Roberts' appointment begins April 4.

The board is scheduled to meet March 30-April 1 in Rapid City at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.


Baloun, a native of Faulkton, earned bachelor and master degrees from Northern State University in Aberdeen.

During his banking career, he worked in various South Dakota communities including Aberdeen and Sioux Falls.

Another regent, Bob Sutton, has been moving from Pierre to Sioux Falls as part of a promotion he received within Avera Health last year. He is regents' vice president.

State law prohibits more than one regent from the same county. That comes into play with the Roberts appointment.

Sutton will change his voting registration to his new home county, Minnehaha, after Baloun wraps up in April.

That would open the way for Roberts, who lives in Hughes County.

Roberts currently is chairwoman of the South Dakota Republican Party. She retired as state secretary of labor in the Daugaard cabinet two years ago.

Among her previous roles in state government, she was chief of operations for then-Gov. Bill Janklow.


She also served in Cabinet-level posts for the Mickelson, Walter Dale Miller and Rounds administrations.

Her husband, Clay Roberts, ranches in Stanley and Lyman counties. His father is former South Dakota legislator and congressman Clint Roberts.

Harvey Jewett, of Aberdeen, is the only current member of the regents who has served longer than Baloun. Jewett was appointed in 1997 and his current term expires in 2017. The board has nine members.

"It's a great honor to be appointed by Gov. Daugaard," Roberts said in a statement issued through the governor's office Wednesday.

"A well-educated workforce in South Dakota is vital to the development of our communities and their economies. I look forward to joining the board and helping to continue their record of academic quality and student success," she said.

Roberts is a 1977 graduate of South Dakota State University.

She said Wednesday she would complete her two-year term as Republican chairwoman, which runs through this year.

"I am thrilled with the appointment because it allows me to extend my public service career which has been such an important part of my adult life," Roberts wrote in an email.


"Clay and I and both our kids graduated from South Dakota public universities and I certainly hope our four grandchildren (being raised in South Dakota) will have the opportunity for the same great education that we received," she continued.

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