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Thorngren to enter private practice; SDSU opens search for new dean

Jill Thorngren
Jill Thorngren

Jill Thorngren, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at South Dakota State University, announced today she is leaving SDSU to build her private practice, JT Counseling, in Bozeman, Montana. Thorngren will remain at SDSU until the end of the academic year. SDSU will begin a search to replace Thorngren.

“This is certainly a difficult decision to leave SDSU and the many wonderful relationships I have developed during my time in Brookings,” Thorngren said. “But this an opportunity for me and my husband to be closer to family and return to an area of the country that was home to me for so many years. SDSU is a great university and Brookings has been a wonderful home the past several years. We will certainly miss it, but look forward to the next chapter in our lives.”

Thorngren came to SDSU in June 2011 after a 12-year tenure at Montana State University where she was an associate dean before leaving. Thorngren became SDSU’s first full-time dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at SDSU after the college combined the Colleges of Education and Counseling and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. The new college also added the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, creating a college that serves more than 2,000 students annually. The college is home to 16 majors, 19 minors and 13 graduate degree options.

“Dean Thorngren has been an enthusiastic and tireless advocate for the College of Education and Human Sciences throughout her time at SDSU,” said Dennis Hedge, SDSU Provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Under Jill’s leadership, the faculty and staff have built strong academic and research programs that are critical to our state and region. Although Dean Thorngren will be missed, her deep care for student success will have a lasting impact on the college.”

During Thorngren’s time as dean, the college has earned or maintained 13 national accreditations for its programs, raised more than $20 million from generous donors to support student success, faculty excellence and facility improvements. Researchers in the college have earned national acclaim for their work in mental health, nutrition and obesity prevention.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished together in the college,” Thorngren said. “I have worked with tremendous individuals and developed relationships that will last a lifetime. Our students have inspired me and continue to go on and do great things for our communities and the state. I could not be more proud of everyone.”