Black Hills State University President Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., welcomed faculty and staff to campus last week by presenting his first State of the University address focusing on four areas –student success, faculty teaching and research, external relations, and global education.
“The root of all we represent as BHSU is student learning,” Jackson said. “The professors are the foundation of our work.”
Jackson acknowledged faculty members for their work in service learning, collaboration, and research.
“I want us to think about the role that we play as scholars at the University,” Jackson said. “The college graduate is asked to deal with the most complex challenges on earth. Students will take the absolute best of what we’re giving them today and turn it into something greater for the common good of society.”
During the address Jackson described BHSU’s history in teacher education as a strong base for continued success. South Dakota’s highly skilled professionals including physicians, attorneys, engineers, and dentists were all coached, guided, and mentored by teachers, he said.
Jackson said University Center -Rapid City helps South Dakota achieve its goal of increasing the number of individuals earning or finishing a college degree.
“University Center -Rapid City provides an access point for adult learners who are very important to the economy and the workforce,” he said. “That’s good for South Dakota.”
He challenged faculty and staff to continue and increase their involvement within Spearfish and the surrounding communities.
“All the towns around us are crying out for our involvement,” he said. “I challenge every new member of the B-H family to get involved in the community.”
“This campus has a very strong ‘can-do’ spirit,” Jackson said. “I’ve noticed a strong sense of optimism that says we can be very unique, very bold, and very responsive to our community.”
Students started classes today at BHSU.