Over the last decade, South Dakota’s high school graduation rates have flattened and only recently begun to slowly rise. Furthermore, the state does not have a traditional community college system that feeds academic transfer students to its four- year institutions. It does, however, have a system of state technical institutes with which collaboration could be enhanced. Competition for students makes it necessary for USD to intensify state and local recruitment efforts while expanding to other regions of the country.
USD is one of two institutions in the system that has experienced recent incremental enrollment growth. However, it will be important for the incoming president to build an effective recruitment and marketing plan targeted at both in-state and out-of-state students that drives growth while increasing measures of student success, including retention and graduation rates. Increasing available scholarship funding will also be a high priority as the university strives to attract and retain high-merit students, many of whom have significant financial need.