DSU Mission Change

In 1983 and 1984, rumors of changing the college into a computer center were circulating through the students and faculty. With the rumors arose questions: "Would it simply be an addition?", "Was it going to affect the funding for the programs?", and "Would things be cut?"

At the end of the fall semester no one had answered the questions. Even the newly appointed president, Charles Luke, an employee of Citibank in Sioux Falls did not try to answer these questions.

At a student senate sponsored convocation, the president explained he was going to look into the courses offered and make a recommendation to Governor William Janklow. Luke also took time to explain why Citibank was still paying for his salary while being the president of a teachers college. Regent Owens also spent a day on campus, but neither of their answers brought much satisfaction to the students or faculty members.

When the legislative session began in February, Governor Janklow suggested cutting most current programs in order to allow room for computer programs. Speaker of the House, Madison Representative Jerome Lammers gave his support to the Governor. As the vote neared Dakota State Students showed their protests for the change. A student senate sponsored rally on campus had roughly 500 students in attendance. The purpose of the rally was to inform all students of the proposed changes. Up until then the issue had little press coverage; however, the students wanted to be heard and three South Dakota television stations sent crews to cover the event. The students supported adding the computer programs without losing any current programs. The students' opinions were not unheard, but were not enough to stop the bill from passing.

The change into a technology campus abolished twenty programs. Not only were computer programs added, but so was a vocational teacher education program.

Dakota State College also saw the IBM 3031 brought onto campus. These computers had a capacity of 600 million bytes, which is 600 megabytes. A resource center was organized providing both elementary and secondary teachers with an in service program.

The 1983-84 year paved the way for new beginnings in technology, but discontinued many old traditions. The current Mission Statement of Dakota State University reads:

"Dakota State University is 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 elementary and secondary teachers with expertise in the use of computer technology and information processing in the teaching and learning process. A secondary purpose is to offer two-year and one-year programs and short courses for application and operator training in areas authorized"


 

Source:

1984 Trojan Yearbook