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


The University of South Dakota offers undergraduate, graduate and professional programs within the South Dakota System of Higher Education. As the oldest university in the state, the University of South Dakota serves as the flagship and the only public liberal arts university in the state

Vision and Values

The University of South Dakota is regionally acclaimed and nationally recognized as a high-quality public liberal arts university with South Dakota’s only schools of law, medicine and business. We are recognized for the quality of our faculty. Their excellent teaching, effective service and innovative research are valued at USD. Our faculty are dedicated, experts in their fields and accessible to our students. USD educates leaders of communities, states and nations.

  • Student Experience Focused
  • Responsible Stewards
  • Transparent
  • Value Our Community
  • Welcoming
  • Resource Custodians
  • Highest Integrity

View detailed summaries of our Vision and Values

Strategic Themes

The six strategic themes represent areas to which the university will devote particular effort in the coming years. They do not—and cannot—encompass every aspect of USD's efforts in educating students, advancing knowledge, and serving the public. As a whole, the Strategic Plan presents a refinement of direction toward a future for which USD has already prepared conscientiously.

Academic Excellence

Ensure that we offer an unsurpassed education, grounded in the Liberal Arts, for all our students.

Goal 1: Improve long-term outcomes and success of USD students as it relates to Liberal Arts
Goal 2: Align faculty teaching, research, and service with the mission of the university


Communicate USD’s mission, vision and values with all stakeholders.

Goal 1: Engage Internal Stakeholders
Goal 2: Engage External stakeholders

Facilities and Infrastructure

Modernize campus buildings and infrastructure for students, faculty and staff.

Goal 1: Renovate and modernize buildings to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff
Goal 2: Invest in technology and infrastructure to realize student success, research and creative scholarship


Continue to create an inclusive and supportive environment for all.

Goal 1: Develop and refine new core competencies for diversity 
Goal 2: Recruit and retain diverse faculty and staff

Serving South Dakota

Foster outstanding service throughout South Dakota.

Goal 1: Address key statewide issues by leveraging USD expertise
Goal 2: Collaborate with underserved populations to improve the quality of life in South Dakota


Provide access to a first-class education efficiently and effectively.

Goal 1: Increase financial resources for students
Goal 2: Increased affordability through a comprehensive review of all student-facing processes related to financial aid and academic progress

2026 Strategic Plan