Vice President Reger: ‘Time was right’ to retire

Emma Dejong

Emma Dejong

After working for 30 years at SDSU, Mike Reger, executive vice president for administration, has announced his retirement. March 5 will be his last full day on campus.

“(My wife Pat and I) knew we were at a decision point and we both said the time is right,” Reger said.

Reger said it is time to move to the next stage in his life, wanting to travel and spend time with family.

“We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years on and off, but not seriously until recently,” Reger said. “‘When’ became the issue, not ‘whether.'”

Reger came to SDSU in 1979, starting as associate director of housing. Since then, he has been involved with many aspects of the university, including capital programs, human resources, SDSUPD, the South Dakota Art Museum and the Agricultural Heritage Museum.

“Being an executive vice president reflects the overall respect and the type of responsibilities that have come to Mike,” President David Chicoine said.

Chicoine emphasized the importance Reger has had with capital programs, really taking note of how he contributed to the art museum and the agricultural heritage museum.

“He was much involved with the SDSU Foundation to restore and modernize buildings on campus,” Chicoine said.

Reger also devoted a great amount of time to human resources, “one of those behind the curtain things,” Chicoine said.

“He expects good-quality work and supports us when we do need to protect the rights of employees,” David Hanson, director of human resources, said.

When Reger first came to the university, there were 6,464 students enrolled in the fall semester, compared to the 12,376 students this past semester.

“We’re a lot different university than we used to be, and Mike’s been a huge part of that,” Hanson said.

Decisions regarding Reger’s replacement are still being determined. Chicoine said the administration would have a plan by early March.

“I’m sure there will be lots of ideas and lots of views,” Chicoine said. “Part of the plan I suspect will be some interim operating procedures.”

While Chicoine said Reger “will be an important part of that conversation,” Reger said he doesn’t plan on getting involved in the hiring process.

“I’m confident that they’re going to get that taken care of without any problems,” Reger said. “I’m staying out of that.”

Looking back on his time here, Reger said what he’s appreciated most is the people.

“This place is incredible,” Reger said. “It really is. There are so many good people here that have done so much good work over the years.”

Both Chicoine and Hanson said it will be hard to see Reger leave, but are happy for his decision.

“A lot of wisdom’s going out the door, but unfortunately people retire,” Hanson said.

Chicoine said that Reger has been “a very professional and successful contribution to this university,” and has valued his time here.

For Reger, he just knew the decision had to be made.

“There’s never a good time; there are always things you want to finish,” Reger said. “I believe if you know the time is right, then it’s the time to go. Delaying that just doesn’t help the cause.”