Bob Berdahl, president emeritus of the Association of American Universities, visited South Dakotas State University in November 2011 to lead conversations about the future of research universities. He was president of the University of Texas at Austin, then chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley before leading the organization of premier public and private research universities.
R. Michael Tanner joined the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities as vice president and chief academic officer in January 2011. He has responsibilities for all academic issues, including intellectual property policy, assessment, and accountability, and heads APLU's initiative in cognitive coursewares design to improve learning in gateway college courses. Previously he was Provost at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Executive Vice Chancellor at UC Santa Cruz. He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and he is an expert on systems that correct errors in digital messages and a Fellow of the IEEE. He visited SDSU in February 2012.