Dean Venky Venkatachalam, dean of Beacom School of BusinessAs the days grow longer and flowers are in full bloom on campus, we are able to reflect on the year’s accomplishments.

Over the weekend we celebrated USD’s Commencement Ceremony. The Beacom School of Business was proud to recognize 131 undergraduate and 59 graduate students who completed their degrees. There was a tremendous energy in the arena as these students listened to words of advice that they will take with them as they embark on their next phase. I have watched these students throughout their academic careers and have continuously been impressed at the professionalism, determination and dedication they showcase. I wish all of the 2019 graduates the best of luck in the future, I am confident you will do great things!

The big headline for this year was our AACSB Accreditation Visit. Every five years, all schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) must embark on a re-accreditation process. This process is in place to ensure that schools continue to innovate and advance their programs. The first phase was a detailed report highlighting our successes in engagement, innovation and impact, this was completed in late December 2018. In February, we welcomed the accreditation team to campus, where they spent two long days connecting with the faculty, staff, students, university leadership and community leaders to hear first-hand about the Beacom School of Business. In April, we were pleased to learn that the review team provided top remarks about our programs and we received unconditional re-accreditation for another 5 years. This accomplishment marks 70 years of continuous accreditation for Beacom, making it one of the top 5% of all business schools in the world.

The end of the semester also provides a lot of opportunities for student engagement. This spring we recognized 134 students who achieved a 4.0 G.P.A. in the fall semester at the Excellence in Academics and Leadership Dinner. In March, I was able to travel with an impressive group of students to New York City for the Quinnipiac G.A.M.E. Forum. At the G.A.M.E. Forum the students interacted with some of the top financial people in the world as well as students from around the country. We also had the pleasure of engaging with several New York area alumni at a reception hosted by USD alumnus John Thomson (’74). In addition, many of our students will be spending the summer doing internships from Alaska to North Carolina and everywhere in between.

In late April we hosted the 71st Annual Beacom Awards Dinner. This is a fantastic evening where we recognize the individuals who truly represent the Beacom School of Business on an exceptional level. The ceremony honored students, faculty and staff for their contributions to the success of the school. In addition, accomplished alumnus David L. Knudson was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his leadership and service to the Community.

This week we will embark on the 2nd annual Global Immersion Program trip to Hong Kong, this year’s trip will also include a two-day excursion to Shenzhen, China. Twenty undergraduate and graduate students, along with five faculty and staff members, will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a rich and vibrant region that is the epicenter of the global economy. Allowing students to experience the business and technology hubs of Asia enriches their educational experience in a way you can’t teach in the classroom. This will undoubtedly have a lasting impression on these students, whether they plan to live in a large metropolitan city or continue their career in South Dakota.

As I conclude this update, I am pleased to share that construction has begun on the new Ellis Finance & Analytics Lab on the third floor of Beacom Hall. We look forward to sharing our construction progress over the coming months and welcoming our first class into the lab in August.

Wishing you a warm spring and a wonderful summer!

Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D.
Dean, Beacom School of Business