Laurie Nichols is serving as the 11th president at Black Hills State University. She previously served as the president of the University of Wyoming, the first woman to hold that post, from May 2016 until June 2019. Prior positions include provost, vice president for academic affairs, interim president, and dean. She has secured numerous grants to collaborate with South Dakota tribal colleges in the areas of curriculum development and articulation. She was an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, class of 2006-2007, where she spent the fall semester on the campus of California State University at Fresno. Nichols has taught at the secondary and postsecondary levels in South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio, Idaho and Iowa. She received her B.S. in secondary education from South Dakota State University. Advanced degrees include a M.Ed. in adult education from Colorado State University and Ph.D. in family and consumer sciences education/family studies from Ohio State University. She served as a WICHE Commissioner from May 2017 until June 2019.