James W. Abbott

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For other people of the same name, see James Abbott (disambiguation).
James W. Abbott
Jim Abbott
Born (1948-06-12) June 12, 1948 (age 66)
Alma mater University of South Dakota School of Law
Occupation University president

James W. "Jim" Abbott (born June 12, 1948) is the current president of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota. He became president of his alma mater on July 1, 1997.

Career and politics[edit]

Abbott is a businessman and former politician. He represented Yankton County in the South Dakota State Legislature from 1991 to 1993. Abbott was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota in 1994, running on a ticket with Jim Beddow. The ticket was defeated by Republicans Bill Janklow and Carole Hillard. Abbott also mounted an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, losing the nomination to Rick Weiland.


Abbott was named president of his alma mater, the University of South Dakota, in 1997. Abbott received his bachelor's degree in 1970 and his Juris Doctor in 1974 from University of South Dakota School of Law.[1] In 2002, Abbott took a leave of absence from the presidency to seek to Democratic nomination for Governor of South Dakota. Abbott won the nomination, but was defeated in the general election by Republican Mike Rounds. After the election, Abbott returned to the presidency of the University of South Dakota.

In June 2007, Abbott took a leave of absence to donate a kidney to USD Chief diversity officer Bruce King at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The surgery was successful and Abbott returned to work two weeks later. He is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

External links[edit]


Party political offices
Preceded by
Bernie Hunhoff
Democratic nominee for Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Jack Billion