Volume XXX, No. 2 • Jan. 13, 2006

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Resignation - top

  • Diane Bishop, senior secretary, Institutional Advancement

Five finalists chosen for Black Hills State University president - top

Five candidates are finalists to become the next president at Black Hills State University, the South Dakota Board of Regents’ search committee announced Thursday.

Regent James O. Hansen, who chairs the search process, said the five finalists will visit the Spearfish campus next Thursday and Friday (Jan. 19-20) for scheduled meetings with campus constituents. A search has been under way since September to replace Tom Flickema, who plans to retire as BHSU president July 1.

The finalists announced Thursday are:

  • Ronald L. Applbaum
  • Sandra M. Flake
  • Brian Levin-Stankevich
  • Richard Rafes
  • Kay Schallenkamp

Information about the finalists is posted at www.sdbor.edu/bhsu_finalists.

The Board of Regents will meet in executive session with the finalists during their campus visits. No action will be taken at these meetings.

Center for Tourism Research releases findings of visitor survey - top

The Center for Tourism Research (CTR) at Black Hills State University has released key findings of a visitor intercept survey conducted last summer in the Black Hills region.

The findings indicate that visitors to the Black Hills area were positively influenced by a variety of advertising before making their decision to visit the area. Additionally, visitors reported that they planned their visit more than three months in advance.

According to Tom Dunn, director of the CTR, “The results of this survey have many applications, including designing and evaluating advertising campaigns, feasibility analyses, and economic impact modeling.” He noted this information will be useful for the tourism industry as they work with Governor Mike Round’s goal to double visitor spending by the year 2010.

The results are based on data obtained from visitors contacted at gas stations located throughout the Black Hills. Visitors were asked to complete a questionnaire and mail it to the CTR after their departure from the region. A total of 509, or 41 percent, of those contacted responded.

Some key findings of the survey are listed below. Dunn notes that the results pertain to independent travelers and do not include group tours.

  • Fifty-two percent reported having seen or heard “ads promoting travel to the Black Hills” prior to leaving home. The most frequently-cited types of Black Hills advertising that these respondents had seen or heard were: magazine (23 percent), Web site (21 percent), TV (18 percent), newspaper (11 percent), and newspaper insert (7 percent). Sixty-seven percent of those exposed to such ads said the ads influenced them to visit the Black Hills “to some extent” or “a great deal.”
  • On the average, visitors decided to take a trip that involved visiting the Black Hills 113 days prior to their departure.
  • Seventy-three percent stated that “the Black Hills or a place in the Black Hills” was “the main destination” of their trip.
  • The median total trip duration was seven nights away from home.
  • Ninety-eight percent of the visitors stayed overnight at least one night. Of these overnight visitors, 94 percent spent one or more nights in the Black Hills. Among these overnight visitors to the Black Hills, the median length of stay in the Hills was three nights, and 64 percent spent at least one night in a hotel or motel in the Hills.
  • The average number of persons per party was 3.22. Thirty-six percent of respondents traveled to the Black Hills with children.
  • Average expenditure in the Black Hills per party was $949.
  • Respondents were presented with a list of 16 attractions in the Black Hills and asked which, if any, they had visited on their trip and which were their favorites. The most frequently cited attractions visited and the percentage that visited them were: Mt. Rushmore (87 percent), Custer State Park (79 percent), Crazy Horse Memorial (64 percent), Bear Country USA (35 percent), and Reptile Gardens (26 percent). Among respondents who had visited all five of these attractions, those that most frequently appeared on their “top three” lists were: Mt. Rushmore (21 percent), Custer State Park (21 percent), Bear Country USA (16 percent), Crazy Horse Memorial (12 percent), and Reptile Gardens (11 percent).
  • Survey respondents were from the following areas: Minneapolis/St. Paul (12 percent); Denver (5 percent); Sioux Falls (4 percent); North Suburban Chicago (2 percent); West Central Minnesota (1 percent); Milwaukee (1 percent); Rochester, Minn. (1 percent); northwest Nebraska (1 percent); Longmont/Ft. Collins, Colo. (1 percent); Casper, Wyo. (1 percent); and Albuquerque, N.M. (1 percent).
  • The average age of respondents was 48.7.
  • Fifty-five percent of the sample had 2004 household incomes of less than $75,000.

The CTR was established in July 2003 and is located on the BHSU campus. The primary purpose of the center is to accelerate the development of South Dakota’s tourism industry by providing actionable marketing information so business owners can make informed investment, planning and marketing decisions. For more information about the survey, contact the CTR at (605) 642-6435.

Student financial services staff members relocated to a centralized location in Woodburn Hall - top

Staff members for student financial services are now located in the northeast end of Woodburn Hall, Room 115. Their relocation, as well as ongoing remodeling in Woodburn Hall, is part of a long-term plan to enhance student services. Staff members located in the Woodburn 115 location include: front row, left to right, Kim Nida, assistant director of financial aid, and coordinator of the work-study program and veterans affairs; Cindy Ostert, senior secretary of financial aid; Debby Schelske, cashier for student accounts; Cheryl Leahy, senior secretary of financial aid; back row, left to right, Hasina Ahmad, accounting assistant; Erin Richards, financial aid counselor; Kanda Guthmiller, scholarship coordinator and administrator of the emergency loan program; Deb Henriksen, director of financial aid; and Pam Thomas (not pictured), accountant.

BHSU student financial services staff members

As students return to campus for the spring 2006 semester at Black Hills State University, they be able to address all their financial needs in one location.

This is the first part of a long-term plan to enhance services for students. All staff members who assist students with financial concerns will now be located in a centralized location at the northeast end of the lower level of Woodburn Hall. The remodeling of this section was recently completed and now staff members for student financial services are all accessible in Woodburn 115. Remodeling work has already begun on the south end of the hallway which will house staff members for the registrar’s office and admissions.

According to Kathy Johnson, vice president for finance and administration, the remodeling in Woodburn and the grouping of staff members will optimize services for students.

“When the first-floor renovation is complete, students will have convenient access to many student-focused services including all the services provided by the financial services, admissions and registrar’s office. Our goal is to improve the services we give to students and make it more convenient for them,” Johnson said.

Student financial services staff members are available to assist students with university financial concerns including accounts receivable, student billing, financial aid, emergency loans, scholarships, monthly payment plans, and Perkin’s loans.

“Any needs students have about financial aid whether it’s leaving a payment with a cashier, making a monthly payment, or asking a question about work-study, a Perkin’s loans, the staff members are now available in the new office area,” Deb Henriksen, director of student financial services, said.

Student financial services staff members include:

  • Hasina Ahmad, accounting assistant, who is responsible for Perkin’s loans and the monthly payment plan;
  • Kanda Guthmiller, scholarship coordinator, who also serves as administrator of the emergency loan program;
  • Deb Henriksen, director of financial aid;
  • Cheryl Leahy, senior secretary of financial aid;
  • Kim Nida, assistant director of financial aid, who oversees the work-study program and veterans affairs;
  • Cindy Ostert, senior secretary of financial aid;
  • Erin Richards, financial aid counselor;
  • Debby Schelske, cashier for student accounts; and
  • Pam Thomas, accountant.

Regents to discuss Sioux Falls higher education plan - top

The South Dakota Board of Regents will hold three informational forums next week in Spearfish, Rapid City, and Aberdeen on a proposal to acquire land in Sioux Falls to create a permanent location for the state’s public university system.

“This plan will open up new opportunities for Black Hills State University, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and Northern State University to offer programs or courses to people in the Sioux Falls area,” Robert T. Tad Perry, the regents’ executive director, said. Three other public universities—The University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, and Dakota State University—already offer programming in Sioux Falls.

The informational forums are planned for:

  • Spearfish – Wednesday, Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m. MST, Meier Hall Room 128 on the BHSU campus
  • Rapid City – Thursday, Jan. 19, 3 p.m. MST, Surbeck Center Quartz and Garnet Room on the SDSM&T campus
  • Aberdeen – Saturday, Jan. 21, 12 noon CST, Ramada Inn

Gov. Mike Rounds and the South Dakota Board of Regents have asked the 2006 Legislature to approve acquiring 263 acres in northwest Sioux Falls to create a permanent instructional site, and to appropriate $8 million for construction of a classroom building at the location. Perry said these plans look to the future of public higher education in Sioux Falls, and are a critical part of the state’s efforts to develop South Dakota’s economy for this century.

At the forums, representatives from the Board of Regents will be on hand to discuss details of the Sioux Falls plan, provide background information and maps on the proposed location, and answer questions.

Three music performances scheduled in January - top

The Black Hills State University Music Department will host three concert performances in January.

Luminus, a piano/violin/cello trio from Minot State University, will perform Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. The program will include music by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Turina.

Amy Switzer, a senior instrumental music major from Gillette, Wyo., and Janeen Larsen, BHSU music professor and chair of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, will present a flute and piano recital Sunday, Jan. 22 at 2:30 p.m. The recital will include the Claude Bolling suite for flute and jazz piano as well as a variety of classical works.

Finally, Joshua Stanton, a senior music major from Miles City, Mont., will perform a variety of solo vocal music Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. He will be accompanied by Priscilla Romkema, BHSU business professor and director of the Center for Business and Entrepreneurship, on piano.

All performances will be held in the recital hall in Clare and Josef Meier Hall. There is no admission charge for any of the performances, and the public is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Larsen at 642-6241.

Kappa Delta Pi members build reading loft for Little Jacket Learning Center - top

Members of the BHSU student group Kappa Delta Pi, along with faculty members and others, gathered at the child care center recently to build a reading loft. Those participating in the construction were: left to right, Cliff Mills, Jodi Mills, a junior from Rapid City; Michelle Hovland, assistant education professor; Steve Hovland, and Dean Martin; Above, Nik Towne, a senior special education major from Rapid City. Many other Kappa Delta Pi members worked for several years to raise funds for the project.

BHSU students, faculty and friends build a reading loft for child care center

Children at the Black Hills State University Little Jacket Learning Center now have a custom built reading loft thanks to the dedication of Kappa Delta Pi university students.

The university student group decided to build a reading loft several years ago at the suggestion of Dr. Carol Hess, BHSU education professor who served as advisor to the group. Since then the students have worked to raise funds for the project. Recently the group gathered at the center to build the reading loft.

“The kids and teachers at the childcare center are thrilled with the new reading loft,” Diane Mabey, director of the Little Jacket Learning Center, said. “We appreciate the dedication and hard work of the members of Kappa Delta Pi.”

Kappa Delta Pi is a student group dedicated to promoting excellence in education and recognizing outstanding contributions to education. The group decided to build the loft because they felt it was a project which would serve the community.

BHSU announces plans for Hall of Fame Room at the Young Center - top

Depiction of completed Hall of Fame RoomHall of Fame inductees at Black Hills State University will soon have a room dedicated to their recognition as the Hall of Fame Room in the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center is transformed with larger-than-life images and individual plaques.

According to Steve Meeker, vice president of institutional advancement, the room will include individual plaques to honor each of the 133 Hall of Fame inductees as well as a mural wall with images of legendary coaches throughout the history of BHSU. The individual plaques will include a screened photograph of each inductee along with a brief description of their accomplishments. A graphic montage border with photographs of athletes in action and select team photos will also be included.

According to Meeker, when the Young Center was built in 1990, it included a Hall of Fame Room; however the room lacked any recognition for the inductees. In an effort to recognize Hall of Famers, Meeker and his staff began raising funds for this project in March of 2004 and recently reached the $50,000 mark of the $96,000 fundraising goal. BHSU is working with Murphy and Orr from Forest Park, Ga., one of the nation's oldest exhibit producers, to design and produce the exhibits for the room.

The room is scheduled to be completed by the end of February with the exception of the display cases. According to Meeker, more money is needed to purchase the display cases. To donate to this project contact Meeker at 642-6228.

“The exhibit will finally give the Hall of Fame inductees the recognition they deserve,” said Meeker, “I'm excited to see the end project as Murphy and Orr is a great company that does quality work.”

The transformed Hall of Fame Room will be a site for gatherings and meetings and will also be open to the public for viewing. An open house is planned for this spring. For additional information contact Meeker at 642-6228.

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