Dr. Schallenkamp's 2008 State of the University Address

Welcome to the 2008-09 academic year.  It has been a busy summer but it is always a pleasure to have the campus filled with students, faculty, and staff.

During the past year we have had a number of new employees join the BHSU team.  I have asked each member of the Administrative Team to introduce new faculty and staff in their respective areas. 


As you undoubtedly have noticed we have a number of construction projects on campus.  I thought it might be helpful to give an update on the major projects so you can answer questions from students, parents, townspeople, or others who are interested.

The addition to the Student Union is well underway.  It will progress in 4 phases:

  1. The first phase will be construction of the new space which will essentially double the size of the Union.  The new space will house Dining Services on the first floor and the student engagement/organization activities and conference rooms on the second floor.  A unique feature of the Dining Services facility will be the combination of dining for our residence hall students, commuters, and faculty/staff in one area.  While the combined space will create some challenges as we design meal plans for our residence hall students, the advantage of bringing all segments of the campus together in one facility is significant.
  2. The second phase of the project will involve gutting the north wing of the building and opening the space for gathering areas as well as offices for Counseling, Health Services, and Union administration.  During this time offices will be moved into the Jacket Legacy Room. The second phase will run from December to March.
  3. In March, the third phase will begin to move the bookstore up to the space currently occupied by the Market Place. 
  4. The fourth phase will renovate the space vacated by the bookstore for Club Buzz and the radio station.  It is anticipated that the first 3 phases will be finished by this time next year and the fourth phase by November, 2009.  Your patience and understanding will be appreciated as our daily lives are impacted by detours, jack hammers, and dust.  The building will be LEED certified at the Silver Level and will offer a number of features that provide visible evidence of our commitment to sustainability.

A web cam has been installed in the Library to allow you to watch the progress.  There is a direct link in the “quick links” section of the BHSU web home page. 

A number of individuals have asked about the status of the science building that was approved by the legislature last year.  The architect has been selected and the building committee is working on the design plan.  We are hopeful that construction will begin by this time next year.  It is anticipated it will be located to the west of Jonas Science Building.

You may have noticed fencing between the Library and Woodburn Hall.  At long last, an elevator is being constructed on the south side of Woodburn that will provide access to all levels of the building.  The loading dock on the library has been removed and the space between the buildings will be converted to green space to make the entrance to Woodburn more aesthetically appealing.

Renovation of the inside of Woodburn is continuing.  Presently, the third floor vacated by the Industrial Technology program is being converted for the Marketing & Communications and Educational Outreach offices.  When the third floor is completed, the lower level of Woodburn will be remodeled for a number of student services currently housed across campus.  When completed in August 2009 we will have finalized the goal to have student services in one building as a One Stop location for our students. 

An architect has been selected for the Higher Education Center-West River in Rapid City.  The regents are requesting funds for construction of the building which will consolidate the classrooms for the Universities offering courses in Rapid City as well as the administrative support functions.  As you may know, land near Elk Vale Road has been donated by Doyle Estes and Regent Kathy Johnson for this project which will make our classes easily accessible for students driving from Hill City, Belle Fourche, Wall, or points in between.

Finally, we continue to examine how we should use the space in Pangburn that is being vacated by Dining Services.  However, since there are no funds available for re-modeling we have some time to weigh our options.


As you are aware, BHSU was the first campus in South Dakota to sign the Campus Climate Commitment.  We have completed the Carbon Footprint analysis and have designed the Union to be certified at the LEED Silver level.  During the past year, we have held a number of initiatives to educate our students and campus employees about sustainability.  Many interesting environmentally friendly components have been integrated into the Union.  Among them are a green roof and energy efficient kitchen equipment.   We plan to begin recycling metal, plastic, glass, white & colored paper, cardboard, and kitchen waste as part of the Union remodeling.  The kitchen waste will be composted for use in campus planting beds.   The apartment complex has joined our efforts by designating one building as a living/learning community focused on environmentally sustainable living.  Residents have named their building Green Acres. 

We want to encourage and support carpooling for our employees.  If 3 employees carpool, they can apply for one parking permit at the regular price and an additional $10 for the carpool permit which gives them access to the designated carpool parking in the faculty/staff lot.  If you have already purchased your parking permit and are carpooling, please contact Myron Sullivan for a refund.  I am pleased Eileen Thomas, in Career Services, has agreed to coordinate carpooling opportunities for our employees. 

There are a number of bike racks around campus for those who use this mode of transportation.  In addition, we wish to start a biking initiative which will provide bikes to be used on campus or to go around town.  If anyone has a bike taking space in your garage, please contact Kathy Johnson.  We will paint it Green and Gold and make it available for students and employees.

Healthy Lifestyles

The State of South Dakota offers a number of incentives for employees to maintain a healthy life style.  On September 9, the CSA council will host a training session on how to use the Healthy South Dakota web site.  You will not only receive information regarding how to set personal goals for healthy living but you will also receive $100 for your Health Rewards and Wellness Account.  In addition, the BHSU Fitness Center is offering personalized Exercise Prescription plans as well as personal fitness student trainers.  During the Olympics, we watched a 41 year old win medals in swimming.  She is a great role model for those of us who might think it is too late to get into shape!


During the last legislative session you may have heard about the REED network which is the acronym for Research Education and Economic Development.  This network will provide all public universities in the state with a high speed connection to the national Internet2 backbone.  BHSU will be connected to the network by October 31.  This connection will be 200 times faster than our current Internet 2 connection and will allow us to share data and research with anyone in the world.  It will also allow faculty to utilize specialized research equipment or super-computing resources.  The staff in Information Technology is preparing for this significant project and if you have any questions, please contact Warren Wilson.

In conjunction with the effort to bring South Dakota into the forefront of technology, the Regents System is moving forward with the mobile computing environment.  To accomplish this initiative, we must upgrade our campus wireless infrastructure, provide faculty with mobile computing devices, and offer training and support.  Over the summer, the Young Center and the  Higher Education Center-West River in Rapid City were upgraded to increase wireless access points.  This completed our plan to have all academic buildings with wireless access points.  The Regents’ budget request for this legislative session includes the rest of our buildings and green areas.  It is important to note that much of the funding for the mobile computing initiative will come from the proposed Payroll Date change which is being discussed with the Governor and legislative leadership.  On September 17, representatives from the Board office will be on campus to explain the implications of the payroll date change which will shift our pay date from the last day of the month to the first day of the month.  Please plan to attend this session on September 17.  More details of time and location will be sent from Nancy Grassel in Human Resources.

 In preparation for implementation of mobile computing on campus, Dr. Myers is working with the Deans to identify which disciplines will take the lead.  If the funding is realized, the Regents hope that 50% of the programs at each university will begin utilizing this technology in the classroom by Fall 2009 with all programs utilizing the technology by Fall 2011. 

Online courses provide a valuable vehicle for adult students in remote areas of the state to access higher education.  I wish to thank the faculty members who have made the conversion from WebCT to D2L for our online courses.  I have heard many positive comments about the support that has been provided by the staff in Information Technology and Educational Outreach. 

Strategic Planning

During the past 18 months, the campus has engaged in an intensive strategic planning process. I wish to thank the members of the Strategic Planning Committee who spent many hours preparing the draft for our consideration.  Four documents formed the foundation for the plan: The Vision Statement strives for BHSU to be recognized as an innovative, high quality University in the Black Hills region, state, nation and world; the Positioning State notes that we transform the lives of our students through innovative, high quality, academic programs and a dynamic learning community;  the Mission established by the Board of Regents states BHSU offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences and in professional education, to promote excellence in teaching and learning, to support research, scholarly and creative activities, and to provide service to the State of South Dakota and the region.  BHSU is the only multipurpose university in Western South Dakota.  Based on the above documents, the committee identified our core values which include Scholarship, Student-Centeredness, Educational Excellence and Life Long Learning, Integrity, Inclusiveness, and Innovation and Change.  These four documents guided the Strategic Planning Committee members as they formed four Goals for our strategic plan: 

  1. Black Hills State University will provide a learning environment that inspires and facilitates personal transformation and instills life-long learning to meet the changing needs of society;
  2. BHSU will engage in strategic partnerships that serve the interests of the university and community at large;
  3. BHSU will provide an inclusive and socially responsible learning community;
  4. BHSU will secure and allocate fiscal resources to be recognized as an innovative, high quality university. 

Targets have been established for each of these goals.  Action steps and timelines will follow.  At this juncture, Dr. Myers, Chair of the Committee is seeking campus feedback and input.  Please plan to attend the open forum on Thursday, August 28th, 11:00 a.m. in Jonas 305 to assist committee members in the final stages of establishing the Strategic Plan.


As we celebrate our Quasquicentennial Anniversary, you are encouraged to participate in the many events planned during the Fall semester.  While these are listed on the web site, please pay special attention to Swarm Days when we will recognize 125 alumni from across the decades who represent the numerous professions in which our alumni have experienced success.  Recognizing we have many more than 125 accomplished alums we have left the 125th slot open for the thousands of alumni who have been successful in their careers.

Points of Pride

Communications and Marketing continues to list Points of Pride on the web site.  Please consult these as you make speeches, talk with prospective students, write grants, etc.  Also please check the hallway on the first floor of Woodburn for changing displays highlighting student, faculty/staff, and alumni accomplishments.  If you have Points of Pride, please share them with Corinne Hansen in Marketing and Communications.  We are doing incredible things and we need to celebrate these successes.  Also, if we are to be recognized as an innovative, high quality university, we must toot our horn.

Following are a few highlights from the past year: 

  • Our external grant and contract awards increased by 2% in the past year for a total of $5,484,455.  Proposals were submitted by 43 individuals.  Sharon Hemmingson provided a few highlights which she called “Proposal Olympics.”
  • The Gold medal for the largest single award went to Cynthia Anderson and Holly Downing for $642,582.  Silver went to Dave Siemens and Garth Spellman for $598,000 and Bronze went to Carol Gritts for $399,884.
  • The Gold medal for most awards went to Ben Sayler with 14 grants.  Silver went to Nancy Wietgrefe with 11 and tying  for Bronze was Sandy Klarenbeek and Holly Downing.
  • As many of you are aware, we are working diligently to increase additional external support through fund raising.  We had a record year with a 189% increase in overall giving and approximately 40% of employees participating.  Thank you for supporting the University.  As I talk with donors, they are gratified that, you too, are committed to BHSU and you demonstrate that commitment through support of the annual campaign.

Students are the reason for our existence.  They are bright, talented individuals who will have an impact in their careers and will make this state and nation a better place to live and work.  I would like to mention just a few of their accomplishments.

  • Peter Lemke, mathematics major from Sturgis, presented his paper "Schwarzschild Like Solutions To the Einstein Manifold" at both the Pikes Peak Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference and the Regional conference for the Mathematical Association for America. Only a handful of undergraduates present at these conferences. 
  • Megan Allen, senior from Meeteetse, Wyo., majoring in Outdoor Education, was recently selected for a competitive national undergraduate scholarship to the National Association of Interpretation's (NAI) workshop this fall in Portland. The coordinator of the scholarship program noted that there was intense competition for the six available scholarships. Allen joins recipients from California State University, Humboldt State University, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, as those selected for the conference this fall. Allen attended the Region 5 NAI workshop this spring in Minnesota where she and other students presented a session on "Using GPS to Interpret Nature."
  • Chuck Schmidt, sophomore history major from Keldron, won the 2008 Saddle Bronc Championship at the 60th annual College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, Wyo., this spring.
  • Aubrey Baxter, junior from Redfield, qualified for the Olympic Trials in the shot put.  Aubrey is a psychology major and is the first BHSU athlete to reach this Olympic milestone. She is also the national NAIA champion in this event.
  • Michael Baum, art major from Harrisburg, earned a special recognition award from the Upstream People Gallery’s Ninth Annual Collage, Digital, and Mixed Media Juried Online International Art Exhibition for his artwork entitled, Vertigo.
  • Jonna Langston, mass communications major from Lusk, Wyo., was chosen to serve as South Dakota’s Citizen Journalist for MTV to document the political process of the presidential election in South Dakota.
  • Jake Miller, a pre-medicine student from Pierre, along with Dr. Cynthia Anderson, associate director of the CCBR, are sequencing bacterial and archaeal clones of samples taken from SUSEL.  This is among the first research projects at the Lab.
  • Black Hills State University was named to the national President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This is the second consecutive year BHSU has been nationally recognized for its exemplary service efforts. A group of BHSU students once again dedicated their Spring Break volunteering. This year in recognition of the growing concern for sustainability, the BHSU volunteers focused their efforts on environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest. Other students  spent their Spring Break in Chile building facilities for disadvantaged children.
  • Twenty BHSU students presented their research at the 2008 National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) held last April on the Salisbury University campus in Maryland.
  • Five BHSU students were chosen to receive the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarships this year. The five students are among only 150 nationwide that received the Gates Scholarship Award for Native American students, established by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Recipients, who were chosen for their academic achievement, community service, and leadership ability, included Kaitlyn Dupris, business administration major from Dupree; Jenny Keiderling, human services major from Dupree; Kaylynn Two Bulls, education major from Pine Ridge; Mary Jo May, undecided, from Kyle; and Chelsey Risse, biology major from Martin.
  • Six BHSU student musicians were selected to participate in the 2008 South Dakota Intercollegiate Band. The South Dakota Intercollegiate Band is made up of the best instrumentalists from all South Dakota colleges and universities. Music majors Devon Strain, from Westminster, Colo., Amanda Scott, from Custer, Kim Ulmen, from Kadoka, Jonathon Aberle, from Spearfish, and Chris Roman, from Rapid City, and history major Sherri Gueswel, from Jay Em, Wyo., were selected for this honor. 
  • BHSU theatre students were awarded certificates of merit at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) competition. Debra Iverson, speech communication and art major from Bowman, N.D., received an award of merit and participated in the Barbizon National Design Competition for costume design. The production of It’s A Wonderful Life was recognized with a merit award for ensemble cast. Over 18,000 students from across the nation attended the weeklong festival. Michael Hollinger, Ashland, Neb., and Casey Hibbert, Spearfish, were selected as Irene Ryan Acting competition nominees for their performance in Much Ado About Nothing and will compete for a national acting scholarship award in January at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
  • BHSU student Charlotte Walling and Dr. Andy Johnson, associate director of CAMSE, presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in Edmonton, Canada.
  • Six Black Hills State University students, who also serve as writing consultants for the BHSU Writing Center, presented papers at the fall 2007 conference of the Midwest Writing Centers Association (MWCA) in Kansas City, Missouri.  Along with Deaver Traywick, Director of the Writing Center, the students were  Allison Coin, English major from Presho, Anne Coyle, English major from Gillette, Wyo., Kelly Kirk, history major from Beulah, N.D, Ashley Rives, English major from Gillette, Wyo., Nick Nolen, English major from Black Hawk, and Lisa Krugh, English major from Cody, Wyo.
  • BHSU physical education students Matt Oliver, Breon Schroeder, and Derek Nelson, along with Dr. Betsy Silva, chair of the Department of Physical Education and Health, presented “Implementing Wellness Policy: A Success Story” at the annual South Dakota Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (SDAHPERD) conference.
  • BHSU student Anastacia Schulhoff, from Caputa, and Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, assistant professor of sociology, presented at the annual Great Plains Sociological Society Conference in Aberdeen.
  • Joanna Vandever, psychology major from Spearfish, was selected to attend the University of Minnesota’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer program in Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences. Over 200 students from across the nation competed for this prestigious opportunity.
  • The Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) program, along with the Center for American Indian Studies at Black Hills State University honored the first 11 STEM scholarship recipients. These scholarships were made possible by a four-year, $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. This year’s recipients were: Arrow Bettelyoun, biology major from Wanblee; Andrew Elkshoulder, biology major from Lame Deer, Mont.; Melissa Fire Cloud, biology major from Albuquerque, N.M.; Sarah Gould, biology major from Spearfish; Savannah Greseth, biology major from Rapid City; Robbie Kramer, biology major from Sturgis; Renee Kummer, biology major from Parkston; Wendy Kummer, math major from Parkston; Desiree Pourier, biology major from Porcupine; Kristal Running Wolf, pre-medicine major from Spearfish; and Deanna Turney, biology major from Ft. Pierre.
  • Several BHSU math and science education students received scholarships from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation. The Foundation donated $60,000 for scholarships to support students studying math and science education. Recipients were: John Klooster, from Sioux Falls; Douglas Derby, from Whitewood; Holly Heaton, from North Sioux City; Hayley Handcock, from Onida; Amanda Heying, from Lead; Kristina Schlapkohl, from Yankton; Richard Hamilton, from Rapid City; Jolene Puthoff , from Sioux Falls; Zachary Beam, from Custer; Jason Schumacher, from Deadwood; April Oesterling, from Emery; Graham Larson, from Highmore; Wolf Parsons, from Box Elder; and Charles Polyak, from Sioux Falls.
  • May 2008 graduate Tara Buehner was selected to serve as the Ward Neff Intern in her first year as a graduate student. This prestigious internship will provide Tara a $15,500 stipend and her tuition will be waived for the year.

You will note that many of the students mentioned are from small, rural South Dakota communities.  I can’t help but think how their lives have been transformed by the experiences they have had at BHSU.

Please remember the Post Board meetings which are held the Monday following the Board of Regents meeting.  These sessions also provide an opportunity to discuss topics of interest to the campus in addition to a summary from the Board meeting.  Communication is very important to a healthy campus environment.  In addition to these open meetings, I meet monthly with leadership of faculty senate, student senate, and CSA council.

During the past year I have had the privilege to meet bi-weekly with several individuals who have read the book, The Fred Factor.  I appreciate the time of those who have participated in these discussions as we explore how we are “Fred-Like” or how we might become more like Fred.  It is apparent that BHSU is a campus community dedicated to our mission to prepare students for their careers as well as for the rest of their lives.  It is also clear that we strive to establish an environment and culture on campus that is based on caring for one another.  We are role models for our students and for that I thank you for your efforts.

In closing, I would like to remind you that most will not be able to name the winner of the Academy Award or Nobel Prize.  They may not remember who won the Super Bowl or World Series.  However, they will name a teacher who made a difference in their lives or someone who made them feel appreciated and special.  In all likelihood, our alums will name one of you in the audience as the person who truly mattered to them.  Thank you for all you do.

Have a great year!