Sky view of Old Main's top in the clouds.

As South Dakota’s flagship and only public liberal arts university, USD is developing future leaders and promoting discovery and creativity through our research.

The University of South Dakota is launching a new vision for the university's future through a strategic planning process. Through a five-phase process, the Strategic Planning Task Force will think and plan collaboratively with input from on- and off-campus stakeholders. This strategic plan will be a systematic, continuous improvement plan that is true to the mission of the university and in which all university decisions are rooted.

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Guiding Principles

The strategic planning process depends on five guiding principles:

  1. Meaningful engagement of institutional stakeholders through face-to-face interaction and discussion;
  2. Transparency through the sharing of information;
  3. The role of the facilitator is to help tap into and build the capacity of the internal stakeholders and guide the planning process, not direct it;
  4. The process pays attention to the external issues an trends in higher education so that institutional stakeholders don't become too inwardly focused;
  5. At several points, the planning process engages external stakeholders, such as alumni, community leaders and business people.


The collaborative strategic planning process is broken into five phases and is expected to be completed in 2020:

  1. Phase I: Getting Organized (2 months)
  2. Phase II: Data Gathering and Engagement (3 months)
  3. Phase III: Making Sense of the Issues (2-3 months)
  4. Phase IV: Vision Conference (1-2 months)
  5. Phase V: Goals Conference (1-2 months)

Stakeholder Meetings

Members of the USD Strategic Planning Task Force will meet with internal and external stakeholders across the state until October 2019. 

Credit: Patrick Sanaghan, Ed.D.