Strategic Plan - 2007-2014 (Approved August 2007*)

*The current strategic plan, initiated in Fall 2007, was to be retired in Spring 2012 with a new strategic plan in place for Fall 2012.  However, because of the resignation of DSU's long-time president in January 2012 and his replacement with an interim president, the University made the decision to extend its current strategic plan for another two years, so that the new president could have input into the strategic planning process.  During Fall 2012, the DSU Planning Council conducted a review of the initial plan and made some minor revisions. The current 2007 - 2014 strategic plan is essentially a two-year extension of the original 2007-2012 strategic plan, "Dakota State University: Focused." 

Strategic Plan 2007-2014


Dakota State University is a public, mission-driven institution. It is South Dakota's designated information technology university and is a leader in integrating this technology into the academic disciplines of its curriculum. Academic rigor and the infusion of information technology into teaching, research, and creative activity are at the heart of the university's work.

Vision (2014)

DSU has a broad national reputation for providing a dynamic, information technology rich learning and research environment.

Values and Commitments

Dakota State University's 2007-2014 strategic plan reflects the following set of values and shared commitments to:

  1. An uncompromising passion for DSU's information technology mission.
  2. The use of data-informed decision making to improve and enrich the university's programs.
  3. Academic research that produces, adapts and incorporates new discipline- and pedagogy-based knowledge.
  4. An unwavering support for student success and learning by promoting active engagement and creative problem-solving.
  5. A relentless pursuit of emerging technologies.
  6. Effective communication that is open and honest.
  7. A university experience that promotes an understanding of our diverse world.
  8. Cutting-edge academic programs focused on its information-technology mission

Where We Are Now

Dakota State University provides students with an open, friendly, safe, challenging, and collaborative environment. The university encourages all students to participate in activities that enrich their academic experience, such as participation in extra-curricular activities, research, and outreach. Its faculty and staff are high-quality, caring, and student-focused. In 1881 the university began as the teacher education institution for the entire Dakota Territory. It continues to fulfill that mission and at the same time integrate the use of information technology in the education of teachers. Dakota State University is proud to be recognized by both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education. In December 2005, the South Dakota Board of Regents authorized DSU to offer its first doctoral degree.

The institution is proud of its graduates, the high job placement levels that they achieve, and their frequent choices to remain in the state to build South Dakota's economic base and quality of life.

The University has concluded the successful implementation of its 2002 - 2007 strategic plan. Details regarding active and planned initiatives that grew and resulted from the 2002 -2007 Strategic Plan are available on our campus web site (see links at the end of this document.)


Through a strategic planning process, DSU has developed seven overarching goals for the University. The goals are stated in brief here and discussed more fully in later sections.

  1. Expand current information technology leadership through cutting-edge programs.
  2. Optimize on-campus student enrollment and enhance program quality by attracting high-ability students.
  3. Increase student retention and graduation by providing an exceptional student experience.
  4. Advance DSU's emphasis on research and scholarly activity.
  5. Extend DSU's educational outreach through online and alternative-location delivery.
  6. Promote increased visibility and recognition of the University.
  7. Develop new sources of revenue.

Strategic Focus #1: Focus On Expanding Information Technology Leadership

To sustain DSU's cutting-edge position as an elite information technology institution, the university will:

  1. Refine and expand its on -campus and state-wide leadership in creating exceptionally effective mobile computing environments.
  2. Emphasize current information technology niches such as programs in information assurance and security for the banking and finance industry, IT-based entrepreneurism, biometrics, information systems in healthcare, computer gaming, digital arts and design, and support for mobile computing initiatives in the K-12 environment.
  3. Integrate informatics (defined as the application of computer and information technology to human problems) into all current degree programs and develop new informatics-based degree programs in disciplines with significant potential for student growth.
  4. Explore opportunities for information technology-infused interdisciplinary majors.
  5. Expand use of information technology to increase capabilities for data-informed decision-making.
  6. Integrate industry appropriate software into applicable programs. (Activity added 2012.)

Outcome 1-1: By 2014, 100% of academic programs will have a statement outlining how they contribute to Focus 1-IT Leadership. (Outcome added 2012)

Benchmark: FY12 - 0 graduate; 0 baccalaureate; 0 associate

Outcome 1-2: By 2014, DSU will have three new cutting-edge graduate programs and five new cutting-edge undergraduate degree programs that reflect the institution's strong focus on its information-technology mission.



FY07 Programs

4(3 masters; 1 D.Sc.)



Strategic Focus #2: Focus On Optimizing and Sustaining On-Campus Enrollment

To optimize its efficiency and better align its student population with its strategic goals, DSU will grow and sustain an optimal on-campus enrollment. To achieve this enrollment objective, the University will:

  1. Provide high-quality and mission-focused undergraduate and graduate academic programs that appeal to high-ability students.
  2. Attract additional high school students from high-growth areas in South Dakota.
  3. Attract additional out-of-state high school students, especially those in northern states such as Wisconsin and Illinois. (Activity deleted 2012.)
  4. Target high school students who graduate from 1:1 mobile computing (tablet) high schools. (Activity deleted 2012.)
  5. Continually improve as a state-of-the-art, user-friendly website.
  6. Expand the most effective technology-, student-, and alumni-based recruitment efforts to increase the institution's student enrollments.
  7. Leverage championship-caliber intercollegiate athletics to enhance student recruitment.
  8. Develop and begin implementation of a Strategic Enrollment Management process for full implementation by the 2014 recruiting cycle. (Activity added 2012.)

Outcome 2-1: By 2014, DSU will attain an optimal on-campus enrollment of 1,400 undergraduate students.

Benchmark: Fall 2006 - 1,277 on-campus undergraduate students.

Strategic Focus #3: Focus On Retention and Graduation by Providing an Exceptional Student Experience

To sustain enrollment, enhance graduation rates, and provide a positive and rewarding experience, the university will:

  1. Increase student engagement through an enhanced system of interlocking programs to support first-year students.
  2. Improve campus life with an expanded menu of meaningful and more diverse academic, cultural, and student life events.
  3. Enhance athletic programs by full adoption of the NAIA Champions of Character program.
  4. Investigate alternative delivery methods for course offerings.
  5. Increase enrollment in the DSU Honors Program.
  6. Develop student-led, green campus initiatives. (Activity deleted 2012.)
  7. Provide curriculum that engages the student in increased opportunities for students to study abroad.
  8. Reach out to managers of the 6 student success activities if there are measures or outcomes that should be added.

Outcome 3-1: By 2014, first-year persistence rates will be increased to 87.7% through implementation of first-year student engagement programs. (Fall 2012 to Spring 2013 and Fall 2013 to Spring 2014) (Outcome added 2012.)

Benchmark: Persistence rate for Fall 2011 to Spring 2012 cohort – 81.2%

Outcome 3-2: By 2014, the first-year retention rate of first-time, full-time baccalaureate degree-seeking students will increase to 71%.

Benchmark: First-year Retention (Fall 2005 Cohort) = 65.9%

Outcome 3-3: By 2014, the six-year completion rate of first-time, full-time baccalaureate degree-seeking students will increase to 44%.

Benchmark: Six-year graduation rate (Fall 2000 Cohort) = 40%

Strategic Focus #4: Focus On Advancing Research and Scholarly Activity

DSU will leverage its current successes in research, scholarly and creative activity, and innovative application of technology to increase the state's economic development and improve the state's quality of life. To achieve this goal, the university will:

  1. Promote and support a research culture across all graduate and undergraduate programs.
  2. Develop the Doctor of Science degree program in Information Systems and provide support to become a leading, nationally recognized program with an emphasis on applied scholarship and multi-disciplinary research.
  3. Recruit and retain a cohort of research faculty through competitive compensation, appropriate workloads and course schedules, and support of grant-writing, publishing, and involvement in discipline specific professional organizations.
  4. Use stipends and assistantships to promote an active research agenda for graduate students.
  5. Develop and implement undergraduate research experiences to attract high-caliber students and to prepare them for post-graduate endeavors.
  6. Develop a baseline for level of faculty research/scholarly activity, as well as outcomes and metrics for measurement. (Activity added 2012.)

Outcome 4-1: By Fall 2014, 80% of tenure-track faculties have reported their information via EndNote. (Outcome added 2012.)

Benchmark:  (2012) 0

Outcome 4-2: By 2014, DSU will increase its research activity by doubling the number of awarded grants/contracts and increasing the value of these grants/contracts to $5 million.

Benchmark: FY07 number of grants/contracts awarded: 20FY07 value of grants/contracts awarded: $1,803,628

Source: annual grant/contract report to SD BOR; data used by BOR for performance funding

Strategic Focus #5: Focus On Extending Educational Outreach

In order to extend its educational outreach, the university will:

  1. Expand the range of online and alternative-location offerings.
  2. Review online processes and services to address the unique needs of undergraduate and graduate distance students.
  3. Develop and expand appropriate programs, certificates and courses to enhance relationships with external partners.
  4. Advocate changes in the university funding model to better compensate DSU for its distance offerings and to allow expansion of new offerings. (Activity deleted in 2012.)
  5. Explore partnerships with other accredited institutions to provide students with a broader range of academic programs and diverse experiences.
  6. Develop new partnerships that enhance DSU's academic programs and add to the economic development of the state and region. (Activity added 2012.)

Outcome 5-1: By 2014, DSU will have 10 new partnerships with external organizations/agencies that are tied to academic programs. (Outcome added 2012.)

Benchmark: 3 (CAHIT, NCPFE, CHR-as of 2012)

Outcome 5-2: By 2014, DSU will increase self-support credit hour generation by 50%.

Benchmark: FY07 self-support credit hours - 13,511

Strategic Focus #6: Focus On Promoting National and International Visibility

In order for DSU to distinguish itself from its competitors and attract top-quality students, faculty, and staff, the university will:

  1. Brand DSU as a nationally recognized university providing information technology-infused programs that emphasize student learning and engagement.
  2. Expand public exposure to student and faculty successes in academic, athletic, and public service activities.
  3. Increase levels of student participation and visibility in national and regional competitions.
  4. Increase levels of student participation and visibility in national and regional athletic activities/competitions. (Activity added 2012.)

Outcome 6-1: By 2014, the number of student-athletes receiving national recognition (NAIA Scholar-Athlete and All-American status) or competing at the national level will increase by 20%, and the number of teams competing at the national level will increase to two teams. (NOTE: duplicated numbers – i.e. if same individual is named All-American in both indoor track and outdoor track, they are counted twice) (Outcome added 2012.)

Benchmark –2011-12 data:  24 individuals; 1 team

Outcome 6-2: By 2014, DSU will achieve 10 academic program and university awards / recognitions at the national / international level. (Outcome added 2012.)

Benchmark: 7 (2012)

Outcome 6-3: By 2014, DSU will achieve 20 student awards and recognitions at the national / international level. (Outcome added 2012.)

Benchmark: 5 (2012)

Outcome 6-4: By 2014, DSU will achieve one nationally competitive award for academic excellence or innovation.

Benchmark: FY07 - 0

Strategic Focus #7: Focus On Developing New Financial Resources

To generate additional resources so that DSU can pursue its strategic goals, the university will:

  1. Support the DSU Foundation in its efforts to conduct a successful comprehensive campaign.
  2. Expand corporate partnerships to support campus endeavors.
  3. Increase campus efficiencies through conservation efforts.
  4. Obtain funding to support facilities and campus infrastructure improvements.
  5. Increase financial support from alumni and other benefactors.

Outcome 7-1:  By the end of FY14, energy consumption in DSU academic facilities will decrease by 3% adjusted by annual Heating Degree Days and Cooling Degree Days. (Outcome added 2012.)

Benchmark:  FY11 Total - $287,369.60 or $.928934 p/sq/ft  

  • Water & Sewer- 2,489 M Gallons, $12.86 p/M, $32,013.69                    
  • Natural Gas – 18,287 MCF, $5.55 p/MCF $101,573.18
  • Electricity – 4,205,271KWH, $.037 p/kwh, $153,782.73
  • Heating Degree Days – 6,612
  • Cooling Degree Days – 640

 Source: Info per Scott VandenHemel, SDBOR – Energy Cap

Outcome 7-2: By 2014, the DSU Foundation net assets will reach $10 million. 

Benchmark: DSU Foundation net assets, end of FY06 - $5,139,385*FY07

(*NOTE: FY07 info not available until after audit completed/IPEDS data collected in fall 2007. Therefore, FY06 will serve as baseline data.)

Outcome 7-3: By 2014, annual-giving donations will increase annually by 3%. (Outcome added 2012.) 

Benchmark:2008 annual donations - $667,894

Outcome 7-4: By 2014, the University will have new resources in place to support new academic programs and initiatives.

Benchmark: Number of new programs and initiatives funded from new resources:  FY07 – 0, FY06 – 1 (D.Sc.)

Implementation of Strategic Goals

The Institutional Effectiveness Committee will use the 2007-2014 Strategic Plan to develop unit- and college-specific plans that include measurable, time-based objectives and performance indicators. The University will annually evaluate progress toward these goals and will utilize this information to make decisions that result in the effective and efficient use of institutional resources. A continuous quality improvement model will be used to analyze progress, report results, and document improvements.

This strategic plan was developed through a process that was led by the following members of the Dakota State University Strategic Planning Committee:

  • Ethelle Bean - Associate Vice President for Special Projects and Director of the Library & Learning Commons (committee chair)
  • Carrie Ahern - Director, Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment (data support)
  • Michael Anderson - Vice President, Student Senate (student representative)
  • Linda Brozik - Executive Administrative Assistant to the President (administrative support)
  • Omar El-Gayar - Dean of Graduate Studies and Research
  • Adam Ellsworth - business (community and alumni representative)
  • Dave Goeden, Assistant Director, Physical Plant (Career Service Association representative)
  • Nancy Moose, Professor of Adult and Higher Education (faculty representative)
  • Steve Shirley, Vice President/Dean of Student Affairs (administrative representative)
  • Jack Walters, Assistant Professor of Management (faculty representative)
  • Gene Wockenfuss, Athletic Director (athletics representative)

Due to a change in the presidency, a comprehensive review with minor revisions was completed by the Planning Council in Fall 2012 in order to extend the document from the original 2007-2012 timeline to an expanded 2007-2014 timeline.


Word Doc  Appendix 1 - The Strategic Planning Process

Word Doc  Appendix 2 - Match to External Constituencies

Word Doc  Appendix 3 - Match to Regional Accreditation

Word Doc  Appendix 4 - Data Summary for 2002-2007 Strategic Plan

Last Updated: 2/12/13