University has strategic plan to increase technology

By Alan Van Ormer

As part of its new ongoing strategic plan, Dakota State University has added a new masters program and three bachelors programs involving information technology. There are plans for more in the future.

The Master of Science in Health Informatics was established in 2009. A joint Masters of Science in Computer Science is under development with South Dakota State University and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree in General Management to be delivered in Sioux Falls will be considered by the Board of Regents at the June meeting.

In addition, DSU has developed three new Bachelor of Science programs. The first came in the Fall of 2008 when the university added a Bachelor of Science in Computer Game Design. In the Fall of 2009, a Bachelor of Science and Associate of Science in Network and System Administration started. The third program developed was a Bachelor of Science in Professional and Technical Writing in the Fall of 2010. DSU also presented Intent to Plan to the South Dakota Board of Regents in February 2010 for a Bachelor of Science in Social Informatics.

The university's previous strategic plan expired in 2007. The new plan would establish the goals and directions that would guide planning and implementation on initiatives for the university.

In 2006, DSU President Dr. Douglas Knowlton initiated the planning cycle that included ongoing meetings throughout the 2006-2007 academic year to devise and implement the strategic plan. Later in 2006, a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats online survey was distributed on campus and sent via email to all DSU faculty, staff and students as well as the Madison Chamber of Commerce distribution list, South Dakota Board of Regents professional staff and DSU alumni. From there, a strategic planning committee developed 'Foci' to outline where the university would like to be.

The first 'Focus' was to sustain DSU's cutting-edge position as an elite information technology institution. According to the DSU Strategic Plan Web site, this includes refining and expanding DSU's on-campus and statewide leadership in creating exceptionally effective mobile computing environments; emphasizing 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; and integrating 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.

Also, the information technology focus includes exploring opportunities for information technology-infused interdisciplinary majors and expanding use of information technology to increase capabilities for data-informed decision-making.

By continuing to focus on its mission the university will be able to provide students with an opportunity to develop an expertise in a chosen field, but also possess unique understanding of the role of information technology.

Last Updated: 2/10/12