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President Gestring Discusses University Response to Pandemic and New Strategic Plan on Credit Hour

A graphic with President Gestring USD President Sheila K. Gestring discussed the university's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and USD's new strategic plan on the latest episode of Credit Hour.

VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota President Sheila K. Gestring discussed the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some highlights from the last several months, and USD’s new strategic plan on the latest episode of USD’s podcast, Credit Hour.

Speaking about the unprecedented changes that have resulted due to the coronavirus, Gestring remained optimistic.

“We’re going to get through this and emerge stronger at the end,” said Gestring. “I think this challenge has pulled us together and made us stronger, more committed and more resilient. I just can’t thank our faculty, staff, students, community members, alumni, donors and friends of the university enough for pulling together as a Coyote community and getting through this challenging time.”

She also discussed the challenges and opportunities universities will face more generally the next few years.

“Universities will have to be more nimble than they have in the past. They’re going to have to approach situations with more of a problem-solving eye,” said Gestring. “That’s not something USD is new to. That’s what we do with a liberal arts education. We solve problems.”

One program Gestring highlighted included a new initiative called Charlie’s Cupboard, designed to end food insecurity at USD.

“We had students come together to create a food pantry on campus in partnership with the food pantry in Vermillion. One in three students may have food insecurity and that impacts their full potential in the classroom,” said Gestring. “When we say Coyote family, it’s more than just a phrase.”

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News