Building for the future

The 2016-17 academic year at South Dakota State University is well underway, with all of the excitement and anticipation that brings. Jane and I participated in p25-Dunn-new-ADJIMG_3753our first move-in day as president and first lady Aug. 19, helping the next generation of Jackrabbits get moved into their residence halls and greeting old friends and alums, many of whom were dropping off their own students to become part of the SDSU tradition.

This fall, we also start a new tradition on campus, with the opening of the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium, covered in this issue of State. A college football stadium is an important part of a university’s culture and experience. It’s a gathering place where fans and friends, students and alumni, university employees and the larger community all come together.

Jacks football got off to a good start with a 56-28 victory over Drake in their inaugural game, and the stadium also hosted a successful concert, featuring country music star Luke Bryan, earlier in the week.

A new stadium and the value it brings to the community also is a reminder that the work of a public university—particularly a land-grant university—never ends.

We have a responsibility to the people and the state we serve to be good stewards of both the university’s traditions and its mission. And that means continuous improvement to assure that we have the right facilities and the right resources to meet the ever-evolving needs of the students and the state we serve.

One thing is certain: Things will change.

Our university community will play an important role in determining and implementing those changes. As always, the goal will be a strong, healthy university—strong strategically, organizationally, fiscally and operationally, and healthy in terms of high employee morale and productivity, fully committed to faculty excellence and student success.

We are cognizant of and working to address some of the critical issues that will shape our future: sustainable economic growth and prosperity, agricultural productivity and food production, stewardship of our natural resources, population health and healthy communities.

We also know that the demographics of communities across the state and nation are changing, and with them the needs of our future students.

So as we plan for that future, we recommit ourselves to assuring access and opportunity to all who seek it and underscoring the values that have distinguished SDSU and its land-grant mission for 135 years.

We are building for that future.

Barry H. Dunn

Leave a Reply