Lakes Sell Griffiths on Madison; MDL Heralds New DSU Matriarchy

The Board of Regents said yes to hiring Dr. José-Marie Griffiths as the first female president of Dakota State University because they likely recognized that she fit the university’s information-systems mission better than any previous DSC/DSU president of the Janklow mission-change era.

But why did Griffiths say yes to DSU? The lakes:

“I was initially very attracted to DSU because of the university’s strength in high-tech and informatics programs, combined with depth and breadth in business, education, liberal arts, math and the sciences. DSU is a dynamic and innovative institution, well positioned for leadership in this 21st Century era of remarkable change,” she said.

While the university’s strength was a draw for Griffiths, it was on the community tour that “I fell in love with the place.”

Griffiths and husband Donald King were shown the new hospital and area businesses. They loved the wide streets and the lovely prairie, she said, but having always lived near water, “It was the lakes that did it” [Jane Utecht, “Griffiths Will Be Next DSU President,” Madison Daily Leader, 2015.04.27].

Keep those lakes clean—they are Madison’s strongest recruitment tool.

And in a sign of the coming matriarchy, Jane Utecht writes the local press celebrating Griffiths’s (drat! Another name ending in s, confounding my possessives!) hiring, the first three people quoted—DSU facility worker Roxie Draper, DSU physics prof Barbara Szczerbinska, and local economic development chief Julie Gross—are all women. A couple guys get to talk in the bottom half of the article.

4 Responses to Lakes Sell Griffiths on Madison; MDL Heralds New DSU Matriarchy

  1. Congratulations to DSU and Madison!

  2. Nick Nemec

    We spent a weekend at Lake Herman State Park with family last summer. As a shallow prairie lake it can get pretty green in the dog days of summer. I hope efforts are being made to reduce ag runoff of fertilizer and manure and control the septic systems surrounding the lake. It would be a shame if it became unswimmable.

  3. Deb Geelsdottir

    I wish her the best.

  4. Indeed, nick—that’s the kind of environmental awareness and action Lake County has to develop to maintain its recruiting and tourism edge.

    Deb, I will be very curious to hear what her management style is and how well that gels with the faculty.