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Majors & Degrees

DSU announces hiring of two new deans

April 24, 2020

Dakota State University has hired two new deans to lead two of the institution’s colleges.

Dr. Pat EngebretsonDr. Pat Engebretson will take the helm of The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences on May 22, 2020. Dr. David Kenley will begin his duties as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on June 22, 2020.

Engebretson has been Chief Information Officer for East River Electric since 2015. East River is a power supply cooperative that delivers wholesale power to over 250,000 homes and businesses in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota.

Engebretson is very familiar with DSU. He is an alumnus of DSU, earning his Doctor of Science in information assurance in 2009. He has also been a faculty member at DSU, teaching courses in computer science, networking, and cyber security from 2006 to 2015. Engebretson has published many articles related to cyber security, and a book titled The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing: Ethical Hacking and Penetration Made Easy.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to return to DSU in this role. DSU has a long and rich history of educating students and I’m proud to be a part of that,” said Engebretson. “The faculty and staff at Dakota State are among the most talented and dedicated individuals I have ever known and I look forward to working with everyone to provide our students the finest educational opportunities in the world.”

Engebretson lives in Madison with his wife, Lori, a retention specialist at DSU, and their daughters Maggie, Molly, and Madelyn.

Kenley,-DavidDr. David Kenley is the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has been at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. since 2004, serving in a variety of positions such as history and modern languages department chair and vice president of faculty assembly. His most recent titles include professor of history and director of the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking.

Kenley earned his Bachelor of Art degree from Brigham Young University in Asian studies and Chinese literature, a master’s degree from University of Utah in Chinese history, and a Ph.D. from University of Hawaii in Chinese history. 

He has published several books: “New Culture in a New World: The May Fourth Movement and the Chinese Diaspora;” “Contested Community: Identities, Spaces, and Hierarchies of the Chinese in the Cuban Republic;” and “Modern Chinese History.”

“There is so much I am looking forward to at DSU,” Kenley said. “Most especially, I am excited to work with the fantastic professors, administrators, and students at Dakota State. As an early adopter of online learning and a proponent of the digital humanities, I am eager to contribute to the university’s mission.”

Kenley will be relocating to Madison with his wife Wendi. The couple looks forward to becoming involved in the university and Madison community.

Engebretson is taking over the position currently held by Dr. Richard Hanson, who is retiring. Kenley is filling the role formerly held by Dr. Ben Jones, now the Secretary of Education for South Dakota; Dr. Judy Dittman has been acting as interim dean.

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