VERMILLION, S.D. — Longtime University of South Dakota President Jim Abbott says he plans to retire next year.

The 69-year-old Abbott told students and faculty in a “State of the University” address Wednesday that he plans to end his 21-year run of leading the school in June 2018.

Abbott says he’s proud of his alma mater “and all the progress we’ve made,” but says it’s time for new leadership to “take USD to the next level.”

Abbott has been the president of USD since 1997. The Argus Leader reports he was the first alumnus to be named president of the school and is the second-longest serving president in university history.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.