Institutional Information


Dakota State University was the first institution in either of the Dakotas founded primarily to prepare teachers. An act of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Dakota established Dakota Normal School on March 5, 1881. Classes began on December 5, 1883. The school was established under the name Dakota Normal School, was changed to Dakota State Normal School in 1887, to Eastern State Normal School in 1921, to General Beadle State Teachers College in 1947, to General Beadle State College in 1964, to Dakota State College in 1969 and to its present name Dakota State University in July 1989. In the 1960's, Dakota State College continued its role in teacher education, but greatly expanded its baccalaureate degrees and associate (two-year) degree programs. In 1984, the South Dakota Legislature through SD Codified Law 13-59-2.2 redefined the mission of Dakota State University to its current role. Master's degrees were added in 1999 and a doctor of science program was added in 2006.

Institutional Mission

Following is the mission statement of Dakota State University as stated in SD Codified Law 13-59-2.2:

"The primary purpose of Dakota State University at Madison in Lake County is to provide instruction in computer management, computer information systems, electronic data processing and other related undergraduate and graduate programs.

The secondary purpose is to offer two-year, one-year and short courses for application and operator training in the areas authorized by this section. This authorization includes the preparation of elementary and secondary teachers with emphasis in computer and information processing. Except for degree programs in existence during the 1983-84 academic year, the unique baccalaureate programs authorized for Dakota State University shall not be duplicated by the Board of Regents.

Section 3. The Board of Regents shall continue to provide existing courses for those students enrolled at Dakota State University during the spring semester of 1984 in order to allow those students presently enrolled to complete their scheduled program of study.

Section 4. The medical record program and respiratory therapy program currently in existence at Dakota State University shall remain at Dakota State University unless otherwise transferred by the Board of Regents."

The mission of Dakota State University as it appears in the Board of Regents Policy Manual (1:10:5, adopted 08/07) states:

The Legislature established Dakota State University as an institution specializing in programs in computer management, computer information systems, and other related undergraduate and graduate programs as outlined in SDCL § 13-59-2.2. A special emphasis is the preparation of the elementary and secondary teachers with expertise in the use of computer technology and information processing in the teaching and learning process.

The Board implemented SDCL § 13-59-2.2 by authorizing undergraduate and graduate programs that are technology-infused and promote excellence in teaching and learning. These programs support research, scholarly and creative activities and provide service to the State of South Dakota and the region. Dakota State University is a member of the South Dakota System of Higher Education.


Degrees are authorized at the associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral levels. The following curriculum is approved for the university:

  1. Undergraduate Programs: Associate degree programs are approved in allied health care, business, general studies, and information technology. Baccalaureate programs are approved in allied health care, business, education, information technology, mathematics, and sciences.
  2. Graduate Programs: Masters degree programs are approved in education and information technology. A Doctor of Science degree in Information Systems is approved.

Strategic Planning 2007 - 2014

Dakota State University: Focused

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 (scheduled to be in place by July 2013) could have input into the strategic planning process.  The current 2007 - 2014 strategic plan is essentially a two-year extension of the 2007-2012 strategic plan, "Dakota State University: Focused." 

During 2006-07, the University utilized a strategic planning process to develop seven overarching goals for the University. The goals are stated in brief here and discussed more fully in the strategic plan document found on the About DSU page.

To fulfill the plan's vision, DSU will:

  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 applied research.
  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.

Implementation of Strategic Goals

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

Diversity Statement

Dakota State University is committed to providing an opportunity to learn in a rich environment free of intolerance and bigotry, one that teaches and honors the importance of the acceptance of differences in others. All members of the community have a responsibility to make DSU campuses and classrooms welcoming and respectful of each member's difference and/or abilities. An investment in diversity is more than the act of recruiting diverse peoples to campus or celebrating ethnically themed events or holidays.

Diversity Mission Statement

The Dakota State University community asserts these fundamental beliefs:

  • Individuals who differ in age, creed, culture, exceptionalities, ethnicity, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, and socio-economic status all contribute to the diversity which we value in a university community.
  • Respect for all individuals and interaction with people different from oneself are essential components of a university education.
  • The university community pledges to promote an atmosphere which encourages the development of potential and promotes the value of diversity.


Dakota State University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission--North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the State of South Dakota Division of Education and the South Dakota State Approving Agency for Veterans. The academic programs in Health Information Management are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. Respiratory care programs are accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, and business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Dates of upcoming accreditation visits appear in Appendix A.

Continuous Quality Improvement at DSU

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is a comprehensive approach used by everyone at DSU to evaluate and enhance processes, programs and services and to improve student learning. It is through CQI that we maximize institutional effectiveness and support the university's mission and strategic plan. CQI is best accomplished when decisions are data-driven and we each play an integral role in the process.

Continuous Quality Improvement can be accomplished in many ways, from noticing a problem and making a small change that fixes the problem to larger, more complex projects that utilize the Plan, Implement, Evaluate, Decide (PIED) cycle to develop a solution.


Training for new and continuing employees is part of the HR comprehensive training program. A "CQI Day" is held each year to showcase quality improvements and celebrate accomplishments. More information, including a list of active and completed projects, is available on the CQI website at:

External Governance

Dakota State University is one of six higher education institutions in the South Dakota Higher Education System including also the University of South Dakota at Vermillion, South Dakota State University at Brookings, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at Rapid City, Black Hills State University at Spearfish, and Northern State University at Aberdeen. This system is under the direction of the Board of Regents, which also controls the South Dakota School for the Visually Impaired in Aberdeen and the South Dakota School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls.

Members of the Board of Regents are appointed by the Governor. The Board generally meets six to eight times per year to conduct the affairs of the system. The Executive Director of the Board of Regents serves as the executive officer of that Board. The Executive Director's office and staff in Pierre provide system-wide service to the institutions in the state. The members of the current Board are listed in the DSU Catalog and on the BOR website (

A copy of the complete Board of Regents' Policy Manual is available on the Board website. You are encouraged to refer to this Manual for further information on policies and procedures that may exist concerning any of the items included in this Handbook.

Internal Governance


The chief executive officer of the University is the President. The President is responsible for the administration of the University and its respective component entities. The Board of Regents have granted all powers necessary to effectuate the attainment of the educational goals of the institution. (BOR Policy 1:6) The Vice President for Academic Affairs assists the President in the discharge of these responsibilities.

General Faculty

The Board of Regents' Policy 4:12 contains the following:

Privileges and Responsibilities of Faculty

Composition of General Faculty: The Board may appoint persons holding the academic or technical rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor; clinical professor, clinical associate professor, clinical assistant professor or clinical instructor; senior lecturers, lecturers or instructors; or other employees to the faculty. The term "other employees" in this context includes teaching assistants, teaching associates, research professionals, librarians, visiting faculty, exchange faculty, adjunct faculty and coaches. The term "general faculty" may also include other persons holding faculty rank.

General Faculty Recommendations: Subject to the policies and rules of the Board of Regents, the faculty of institutions may make recommendations to the institutional administration, (in accordance with institutional protocol and organizational structure) on the following matters:

  1. Courses of study;
  2. Entrance requirements;
  3. The requirements for advance standing of transfer students to enroll;
  4. The standards of performance for continuance in good standing;
  5. The reinstatement of students dropped for scholastic reasons and the conditions for reinstatement;
  6. Standards and requirements for granting degrees, diplomas, or certificates to graduating students;
  7. Rules and regulations for the granting of academic honors and the recipient(s) thereof;
  8. Promotion in ranks;
  9. Granting and retention of tenure; and
  10. Resolution of grievances.

A copy of the General Faculty Constitution and By-Laws appears in Appendix B. More information on faculty responsibilities is contained in the Interim Terms and Conditions of Employment, Section X, available on the BOR website.

Student Association Senate

The Student Association Senate assists in promoting the general welfare of the University and serves as an organized medium for expressing the opinion of students on matters of general concern. It is the Senate's responsibility to make recommendations to the President on the General Activity Fee and maintain student representation on all institutional and ad hoc committees. (DSU Policy 04-20-00.)

Career Service Council

The governing board of the Career Service Act employees of DSU is the Career Service Council. The Council serves as the organizational and administrative body for all CSA employees and provides the link between CSA employees and the University administration. A copy of the Career Service Council By-Laws can be found in DSU Policy 04-25-01

Council of Higher Education (COHE)

COHE is the exclusive representative of the collective bargaining unit, as determined by the Division of Labor and Management Document No. 12E 1976/77, dated the 11th day of August, 1978, or as may be modified by this agreement, for the purpose of collective bargaining in respect to rates of pay, wages, hours of employment, grievance procedures and other conditions of employment. The bargaining unit is composed of all full-time and regular part-time [a regular part-time employee is one employed in the current semester who is employed fifty percent (50%) but less than one hundred percent (100%) of the normal full-time load]. The latest Interim Terms and Conditions of Employment is available on the Board of Regents web site.

DSU Policies and Procedures Manual

DSU policies are formulated through the participation of faculty, students, Career Service staff, and administrators. All policies must be in compliance with Regental and State rules and regulations and must receive the final approval of the President. The DSU Policies and Procedures Manual can be accessed through the Human Resources website. (The academic policies of DSU are contained in the University Catalog, and student policies are published in the Student Handbook.)

DSU Records Retention Schedule

In 1967 the SD Legislature established the Records Management Program to oversee the retention, preservation and disposal of state records. The Records Retention and Destruction Schedule for Dakota State University was officially approved by the Records Destruction Board in 1990. A system-wide project was completed in January 2012 to combine the retention manuals into one common manual for the SDBOR system.  The Comptroller, located in the Business Office, serves as the University Records Officer and the liaison to the Records Management Office in Pierre. No campus records may be destroyed unless specified by the Retention and Destruction Manual. Offices are encouraged to transfer files from temporary storage to the University Archives located at the Mundt Library on a routine basis and in accordance with the Retention Schedule. The full Records Retention Manual is available on the Board of Regents website.

Last Updated: 8/30/12