Entrepreneur Henry Ford once said that, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” We continue the process of planning and working toward changes that will strengthen and build our campus. Students are paramount at DSU. We make every decision asking first, “How will this enhance the student experience?” In light of this principle, we have been in discussions since January 2016 about how to utilize space on campus to enhance the student experience. To create an accessible campus culture we engaged in conversations with students in spring 2016 to understand better their needs. Since that time we have been evaluating opportunities to enhance existing spaces and resources in more strategic ways to meet these needs. Out of our conversations emerged the need for three items. A warm and welcoming Student Center. A centralized academic support center, and a one stop shop, or student service center, for business processes. After evaluating campus space utilization we are now prepared to begin making changes to meet these needs. Over the course of the next few months there will be adjustments and modifications to integrate these processes on campus, mainly among staff members, to accommodate the improvements. These are very student focused improvements that will result in higher levels of access.
In addition to re-envisioning how we use office space, we have also been evaluating the use of residence halls on campus. Enrollment is growing and Dickinson State University needs to invest in spatial environments that are conducive to living and learning for our residential students. With respect to this planning, we are moving forward with a remodel of Woods Hall. The renovations will be completed without taking on debt through bonding by utilizing reserve and grant funds for this update. In addition, in the tradition of other residence halls before it, Selke Hall, which is in need of major improvements and is extremely expensive to operate, will close in the summer of 2017 and will likely not reopen as a residence hall. We will be evaluating options for future use as we update our five year plan. Stay tuned for more information down the road.
Wednesday, March 29, six DSU students joined faculty and staff as we hosted a booth at the ND State Capitol to share the personal impact the University has made on their lives. We had a wonderful day at the capitol and interacted with the legislators. As we have discussed through many avenues of communication, at this point we do not have any further updates on upcoming appropriations or final decisions about programs, but plan to share a more in depth update in the May Hawk’s Perch.
Plans to celebrate the University’s Centennial continue to move forward! For 100 years Dickinson State has been offering high quality academic preparation to train young men and women for their careers. The Centennial Committee is planning an all campus, all class reunion to coincide with Rough Rider Days in 2018. We are very excited to have the community, friends, and alumni from all generations join us in this momentous occasion as to help celebrate all that has been accomplished in the rich tradition of Dickinson State.
Dickinson State has a strong history and a bright future. Moving forward together, the foundation for success that has sustained this community for the past 100 years will continue to be built upon and strengthened.