DSU forging aheadA few weeks ago, Dickinson State University celebrated its 93rd birthday. As we reflect upon the excitement of completing another successful year, we are moving forward in a deliberate manner to forge new boundaries and create windows of opportunity.
By: Richard McCallum, The Dickinson Press
A few weeks ago, Dickinson State University celebrated its 93rd birthday.
As we reflect upon the excitement of completing another successful year, we are moving forward in a deliberate manner to forge new boundaries and create windows of opportunity. Four major forces are presently converging to create this unique era of progress for Dickinson State’s future. These efforts, individually, involve significant chapters within the life of our institutional history. Collectively, they represent an accelerated shift in our momentum. This synergy will establish many forthcoming learning opportunities for our students, and the citizens of North Dakota.
First, after more than nine decades of effort focused upon the baccalaureate degree, we are launching graduate classes!
This landmark decision by the State Board of Higher Education allows us to connect our past as a state normal school with our future. Offering graduate classes demonstrates our sustained commitment to meet the educational needs of our area school teachers. Our rationale is anchored upon the planning cornerstones that foster public access and geographic proximity.
Second, our application to host a new Confucius Institute was approved on April 7. With this authorization, DSU joins an elite group of 73 universities across the United States endorsed by the Confucius Institute Headquarters of China. We anticipate new and exciting educational opportunities will begin to unfold as we work with our educational partner Tuiyuan University of Technology.
The Confucius Institute will bring visiting faculty from China to teach Chinese language classes at DSU. Many other cultural exchanges will be developed to share the art, music and history of China with citizens throughout our area. The Confucius Institute not only raises our national profile, but it places DSU within a worldwide network of approximately 295 premier universities that are dedicated to fostering multicultural understanding.
I believe the establishment of this Institute will enhance learning opportunities across our curriculum while enriching the quality of life for the community of Dickinson, the state of North Dakota and our surrounding region.
Third, our Theodore Roosevelt Center has become a true gem within our university’s crown of educational assets. Four major lines of program effort have been developing simultaneously:
- The creation of a comprehensive, TR digital library
- Annual symposia and publications
- Advancing new avenues of TR scholarship and creating an endowed chair for TR studies
- Public outreach and interactive kiosks
DSU is dedicated to the development of a comprehensive, digital TR Library that knits together several dispersed archives. This presidential collection will integrate documents and artifacts from multiple partners and provide unprecedented Internet access to TR archives that heretofore have been geographically scattered across the United States.
The development of this remarkable database already has been recognized as an incredible local resource. Moreover, it is quickly emerging as a state and national treasure. In fact, I predict this global treasure chest will move onto the world stage because the amazing power of the Internet makes our database just as accessible from London or Paris as it is from Dickinson, North Dakota.
Fourth, our programs at the Strom Center continue to support and enhance the economic vitality of our region. DSU’s Strom Center, with its many programs, has emerged as one of the key pillars that continue to define DSU as an innovative and relevant university.
With the launch of our new Business Incubation program, we are able to connect emerging entrepreneurs and developing small businesses with established business leaders who will serve as mentors and coaches. This is a significant educational step.
We believe DSU has a responsibility to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship; this new incubation initiative will directly help young innovators who want to start their own small business or become business leaders.
DSU continues to be an exceptional place where great people assemble to engage in the exciting work of higher education. Powerful ideas are being converted into action plans. A pathway of results is emerging. We are very grateful for your continued support and commitment to DSU!
McCallum is the Dickinson State University president. Comment on this column at www.thedickinsonpress.com.