Charles D. Lein

Charles D. Lein
16th President of Dakota State
In office
Preceded by

Dr. Carrol Krause (USD)

Succeeded by

Dr. Carleton M. Opgaard

 Personal Details
Born N/A
Died  N/A


“Dr. Charles D. Lein was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and later lived in Mitchell, Rapid City and Vermillion. His mother’s parents were homesteaders in Haaken County, in western South Dakota, while his father’s parents were immigrants from Norway and settled in north central Iowa. “Lein graduated from Rapid City High School in 1959. He attended South Dakota School of Mines and Technology for one year, and received his B.S. degree from Augustana College in Sioux Falls in 1963, with majors in Economics and Business Administration. In 1964, Lein received his M.S. in Business Administration from the University of Wyoming. “In 1962, Lein married his high school sweetheart, Susan Buckingham. Sue was an accomplished musician and composer, and earned her B.A. from Augustana College, her M. Ed. from the University of Wyoming and her Ed. D. from the University of South Dakota. The couple had five sons, one of whom died at the age of 22 months. “From 1964 through 1966, Lein taught and was an administrator at National College of Business in Rapid City. He then returned to the University of Wyoming, where he pursued his Ed. D., with an emphasis in education and business administration. His doctorate from Wyoming was awarded in 1970. Lein served as an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Montana State University in Bozeman from 1968-1970. While at MSU, Lein established Treasure State Management Consultants and was also named Professor of the Year. “In 1970, Lein became Chairman of the Department of Business Administration at Weber State College in Ogden, Utah; a position he held for three years. During that time, Lein became increasingly involved in management consulting and conducted numerous executive development programs throughout the region. He was also named Professor of the Year at Weber State College. “In 1973, Lein was named Dean of the College of Business at Boise State University in Idaho.”While in Boise, Lein’s professional endeavors became more nationally oriented. He became director for First Commerce Bank and for Albertson’s, Inc., where he served for 26 years. He served as a national director of the United States Small Business Administration, made six management development movies, and authored numerous articles in the area of behavioral management. In 1976, Lein was named Educator of the Year for the State of Idaho. “In 1977, Lein was named President of the University of South Dakota, USD in Springfield, and Dakota State College in Madison. At 35, Lein was the nation’s youngest state university president. When Lein was hired, the South Dakota Board of Regents were debating the possibilities of institutional elimination and/or further administrative consolidation within the state’s system of higher education. As a result, Lein was advised that by the time he arrived in South Dakota, he might be responsible for one campus, or for as many as five! “Dr. Carroll Krause was USD Provost and had day-to-day leadership responsibilities for DSC and for USD-S. The late 1970’s were difficult for all higher education: an energy crisis, double-digit inflation and interest rates, and an appropriate public outcry to do more with less. After being threatened with closure, DSC responded to the challenge to significantly modify its roll and mission. Several unique new academic programs replaced some which were duplicated in numerous locations throughout the state and region. “Lein left USD in 1982 to become Chairman, President, and CEO of Black Hills Jewelry Manufacturing Company (d.b.a. Landstrom’s Original Black Hills Gold Creations) in Rapid City. In 1991, Lein was named South Dakota’s Small Business Person of the Year. “In 1984, Lein became President and Chief Operating Officer of Stuller, Inc.

Source: DSU Archives, RG 8, DSU 132, Box 855.