The school opened in 1881 as a teacher’s college. A century later, the university was struggling to stand out among other state colleges, enrollment was dropping, and the Legislature had attempted to close the college.
Then-Gov. Bill Janklow recognized DSU’s struggles and worked with the Board of Regents to change the mission of DSU. In 1984, DSU’s new mission was specializing in computer-related programs [Megan Raposa, “Sanford, Beacom Donate $30 Million to Dakota State University,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.08.20].
DSC certainly wasn’t the biggest campus, but in the 1980–1981 school year, three years before the Legislature approved Governor Bill Janklow’s conversion of the liberal-arts campus into a prep school for the new Citibank cube farm, DSC posted the biggest enrollment gain by percentage in the state.
Now, can any of you readers track down the Regental enrollment data for the subsequent school years?
Update 19:43 CDT: Charlie Johnson’s historical point withstands broader scrutiny. The Board of Regents Higher Education Enrollment Information for Fall 1990 (a copy of which rests here in the Beulah Williams Library of Northern State University) includes this bar chart of public FTE enrollments in fall semesters from 1973 to 1990:
DSC’s enrollment is the second block from the bottom in each bar. DSC’s fall enrollment looked pretty peaked in the 1970s, then bulked up in the early 1980s until Janklow’s computer mission change drove enrollment back down from 1984 through 1987.
Dr. Ernest Teagarden, General Beadle/DSC/DSU professor emeritus of business, provides numbers in his 2006 essay in DSU’s quasquicentennial promotional publication:
Enrollment increased during the [DSC President Dr. Carl] Opgaard years from 895 students in 1979 to 1,246 students in 1983. Both figures are, of course, headcounts and probably have to be adjusted if full-time equivalencies are desired. The enrollment increase indicated that parents and their teenage offspring had decided that DSC was not to be closed.
Despite its enrollment increases the collegiate position of DSC was not permanently settled. In the late winter of 1983 Governor William Janklow appeared on the academic scene in Madison. He addressed a selected group of Lake County citizens and proposed the conversion of DSC to a “computer school” (or words to this effect)….
…It was unfortunate that the “new mission” could not have been developed more openly and over a longer period of time. A look at fall student headcount (the number of students taking at least one credit during the semester) in 1983 and the following three years is in order: 1983—1,246 headcount; 1984—999 headcount; 1985—867 headcount; 1986—940 headcount [Dr. Ernest Teagarden, Chapter 4, “Mission Change and Recent History,” Keeping the Edge…, DSU/Leader Printing: Madison, SD, 2006, pp. 35 & 38].
There were questions about the ongoing viability of Dakota State College as a liberal arts/teacher-preparation college well before the 1980s. But to say that decreasing enrollment was a pressing problem at the time of the Janklow computer mission change in 1984 is historically inaccurate.
Madison DQ impresario DeLon Mork doggedly defends his avid fundraising for the Children’s Miracle Network from any political campaigning. Politicos regularly show up at for the big Madison DQ event, but DeLon keeps the event about the kids those ice cream purchases help, not campaigners who might be angling for free press.
So this photo from Madison DQ yesterday is not of two prominent Republicans who could work together to beat back their high-powered challengers and win nomination to higher office:
No, this is a photo of two state officials, coming to chip in a few dollars and boost the profile of one of South Dakota’s most successful charitable events, just like the Governor of South Dakota, who’s not campaigning for anything:
Secretary of State, Attorney General, Governor… doesn’t that automatically make Madison Capital for the Day?
A number of my Lake County friends have noted the close margin by which political rookie Republican Jordan Youngberg wrested the District 8 Senate seat from veteran Democratic legislator Scott Parsley. Youngberg won 5,869 votes, just 94 more than Parsley.
One could attribute Youngberg’s victory to the harder-right electorate of Sanborn County, which went for “R” over experience by 270 votes.
One could also attribute Youngberg’s victory to to his ability to peel away some of the Madison vote that Parsley’s last opponent, Daugaard appointee Chuck Jones from Flandreau, was unable to grab. Both Parsley and Youngberg live in Madison, and they split the 3,990 voters in Madison’s three wards almost right down the middle, with Parsley taking just 6 more Madison votes than Youngberg. By keeping Madison even, Youngberg was able to claim more of the rural vote and win Lake County by 142 votes.
Of course, not all of those Madison voters were actual Madison voters. While Parsley prevailed in Wards 2 and 3, Youngberg won Ward 1. Ward 1, as we know, is home of MyDakotaAddress.com, which houses over a thousand absentee RV voters at the mailbox office at 110 E. Center. And Ward 1 went for Youngberg by a margin of 183 votes.
Note to Democrats: in 2018, allocate a few thousand dollars to double hit 110 E. Center and South Dakota’s other RV mailboxes with some big, bright mailings.
Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline is in full swing here in East River. The pipeline crosses Highway 19 just south of the Montrose corner. Saturday, the pipe had been laid under the road and was awaiting connection with the line on both sides of the road.
My dad looked at that standing water and said that won’t hurt that pipe any. What that pipe and its eventual 450,000 to 570,000 daily barrels of Bakken oil may do to our water is a separate question.
This section of the pipeline was Made in the USA, so surely nothing will go wrong. Of course, that burger was also Made in the USA, and it still left someone on the Michels crew dissatisfied.
Those barriers will keep the excavated dirt from washing away, but they won’t replace the corn that’s been buried.
North and west from the 19 crossing, just a couple miles west of Buffalo Trading Post on 248th Street, Michels has connected some sections of the pipeline.
Just over the hill from that crossing, folks were out boating and fishing on Island Lake. In sight of the northeastern shore is the pipeline construction route.
Up in Lake County, Dakota Access crosses 451st Avenue just north of Orland. Here Michels had to pump water out of the trench to get some work done. The water appears to have spread out beyond the construction easement onto the surrounding cropland.
Orland farmer Charlie Johnson tells me he met with Dakota Access public liaison Eric Munz to review the layout of drainage tile lines in the Orland township farmland that Dakota Access traverses. Johnson said Michels Construction had already severed one tile line and had left it unrepaired and spilling water for several weeks. Johnsons says Munz granted him and his contractor permission to review the final repairs will eventually make to severed tile lines. The next morning, public liaison Munz sent Johnson this message:
I just want to clarify a couple things about our conversation yesterday. I had explained to you that DAPL is required to restore the tile to pre-construction condition including taking measures so it does not sag or settle. I also stated they will use a tile bridge (Mad Dog Foam Bridge) and will run a scope to inspect as well as following the Aggicultural Impact Mitigation Plan which you stated you are familiar with. You and Alan questioned several times why DAPL was not willing to go beyond their legal responsibilities to “do the right thing” or be ethical in regards to the letter your attorney sent and the request to have your tile contractor approve their methods of repair. I suggested part of the reason may be due to the fact they do not agree with or believe some things to be true that you have put on social media and the fact that you oppose the pipeline. I offered to alert you as much in advance as I can of when the tile repairs will be performed and to be present at that time to document conversations between you, your tile repair contractor and the people involved in tile repair [Dakota Access Pipeline public liaison Eric Munz, e-mail to Charlie Johnson, 2016.06.21].
Translation: Dakota Access may favor some landowners with better treatment than others based on whether they support the pipeline and keep their mouths shut.
On Wednesday, June 22, Michels Construction severed Charlie Johnson’s six-inch tile line. The next morning, water was still spilling out of the cut tile line, filling the pipeline trench and inundating adjoining farmland where Johnson is trying to grow oats and alfalfa.
When Johnson heads to town, perhaps he will imagine an alternative route for Dakota Access:
Madison is maxed out on tax increment finance districts, so it had to get the county to back the latest TIF district project, a plan to turn about 15 acres of farm land on the south edge of Madison into new housing and retail space:
This $875,000 TID allows Phase 3 Development, LLC to build a new development in south Madison. The multi-family housing and retail space will be located between Bethel Home and Union Avenue, just north of Madison Regional Health Systems.
…Phase 3’s development will include two 14-unit, multi-family townhome apartment units, two commercial strip malls and a fast-food restaurant on the 15-acre site. These improvements are projected to cost almost $5 million, said the project plan [Jane Utecht, “County Approves TID #4 for South Madison Development,” Madison Daily Leader, 2016.04.21].
A project of that scale must have market demand. It’s right across from the new hospital, which should synergize with the commercial space and provide folks visiting patients with an easy meal stop and others coming for check-ups a chance to hop across the 10th Street/Highway 34 bypass and run a couple errands at the strip mall shops (and, Madison, you will be making Union and 10th a controlled intersection, right, with lights and crosswalk buttons?). Bethel Lutheran Home right next door adds customers. The developers say Madison’s housing study shows demand for more rental units.
So with all this demand, why does government have to intervene in the free market? Can we build nothing in South Dakota without a tax break any more?
Tax increment financing is supposed to be a lever we use to make economic development happen where it otherwise would not, in hopeless, blighted areas. This 15 acres isn’t blighted. It’s bare land, sitting right next to a primary road, two health care facilities, and lots of hungry patients, visitors, and workers. It is opportunity.
Tax increment financing may be the first place we need to look to reform our tax system and better capture the wealth we have to support schools, roads, and other public goods. Taxpayers have already floated the loan and bought the old building that made the new hospital and commercial hub possible. Instead of leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars of new revenue on the table to pad developers’ profits, the county and school district should require developers to pay full taxes on the full value of their projects the year after they are built, just as we homeowners do. Then we might see much less pressure to cut programs and raise taxes.
In a small victory for public input, historic character, and grass, Dakota State University President José-Marie Griffiths announced yesterday that it will build the Beacom IT building on the parking lot south of Heston Hall, on the east side of Washington Avenue. This decision reverses the unpopular plan set in June by then-interim DSU prez Marysz Rames to satisfy Big Usury donor and alum Miles Beacom’s edifice complex with a big glass box on the green blocking the view of historic East Hall on the west side of the street.
Tear up concrete instead of trees and grass—heck of an idea!
The decision pleases Madison residents like Charlie Johnson, who was among the leaders of popular opposition to the tree-wrecking, East-Hall-blocking location. The decision should please the State Historical Preservation Office, which advised in August that building Beacom on the green would “damage the Madison Historic District.” DSU should be pleased, since moving east across the street means they don’t have to monkey with the SHPO rules on damaging historic districts. Plus, DSU still gets to promote the notion of Washington Avenue as the grand entrance to campus, framed with, in Dr. Griffith’s words, “DSU’s legacy on the left (East Hall) and its future on the right (the Beacom building).”
East Hall denizens, you may decide whether to take umbrage at being relegated to non-future status. Maybe you can open a PET museum. And now, you can be sure you’ll get to hold your opening reception in a lovely green space right outside.
Dakota State University announced plans last June to plunk the new Miles Beacom IT building on the southeast corner of campus. That chunk of campus is currently part of DSU’s verdant oasis in the Madison Historic District. But that shady green space and the lovely view of historic East Hall apparently isn’t impressive enough for recent administrations who view Washington Avenue as the main entrance to campus and think that “gateway” would be grander with a modern edifice showing off a big donor’s name:
After reviewing the pros/cons regarding the location of the Beacom IT building, as well as consulting multiple constituents, including our primary donor, Miles Beacom, we have decided that the best location of the new Beacom IT Building is the southeast side of campus adjacent to East Hall. Key factors that solidified this decision include:
Washington Ave is the main corridor to campus, and with the Trojan Center renovation and acquisition of the hospital property, this corridor will become a focal point for the campus.
The SE side of campus will serve as the first impression for individuals – including prospective students and their parents – when they visit campus. Locating the building on this site will help the campus gain notoriety in the region.
The SE location allows Lowry to remain and continue to provide needed space on campus. As indicated in the Master Plan, a future facility could be located on this site [Interim President Marysz Rames, VP Academic Judy Dittman, and VP Admin Stacy Krusemark, Dakota State University, e-mail to steering committee, 2015.06.05].
Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter thinks that location is a bad idea. So does South Dakota’s State Historic Preservation Office. In a letter dated August 25, 2015, SHPO Director Ted Spencer and historic preservation officer Jay Vogt tell DSU VP Admin Stacy Krusemark that building Beacom Hall south of East Hall on Washington Avenue will “encroach upon historic property that is included in the National and State Registers of Historic Places” and that “feasible and prudent alternatives have not been explored”:
During the site visit on August 19, 2015, it was noted that DSU will need to construct two additional buildings to accommodate campus growth and additional programming. However, it is unclear why the site of the existing Lowry Hall or the site of the Madison hospital, which is being acquired by DSU, are not feasible alternative locations for the Beacom IT Building. It does not appear that a building use/feasibility study has been done to show whether the Lowry Hall site or the former Madison hospital could be used to house the programs proposed for the new Beacom IT Building in conjunction with other program space.
It was noted during the sit visit on August 19, 2015, that the DSU Foundation owns the property on the southeast corner of 6th Street NE and Lee Avenue. Although this area is still within the boundary of the Madison Historic District, the properties on the south side of 6th Street NE between Lee and Washington Avenues are considered non-contributing to the Madison Historic District. Therefore, SHPO recommends exploring the feasibility of purchasing these properties with the intent to expand campus to the south [Ted Spencer and Jay Vogt, State Historic Preservation Office, letter to Stacy Krusemark, Dakota State University, 2015.08.25].
My initial inclination would be to go for the Lowry/hospital tandem plan before trying to expand southward. Replacing Lowry, a boxy old 1958 dorm, with a fancy new IT building would make the other entrance to campus, along the beautiful boulevarded Egan Avenue that hosts DSU’s homecoming parade, notably more impressive without taking away from existing aesthetic appeal. Siting Beacom Hall on the newly vacated hospital property would give DSU a real landmark on its north entrance at 9th and Washington. Both the Lowry and hospital locations come with built-in off-street parking, which would be harder to come by on the Lee–Washington half block. The only advantage to the Lee–Washington location is that it’s that much closer to El Vaquero for lunch.
But building Beacom in any of those locations makes more sense than tearing up another patch of that beautiful campus green.
The aesthetics and beauty of a campus is something that is priceless and in most cases is irreplaceable. There are other good and workable solutions to the placement of the new classroom building without destroying the precious “green imprint” of Dakota State University [Charlie Johnson, letter to the editor, Madison Daily Leader, 2015.10.16].
I was a professor at Dakota State University for 36 years, and, for a decade, I had an office in East Hall, and I taught in classrooms there. I fondly remember strolling across the lawn among the towering trees in front of East Hall. I enjoyed looking down the unbroken expanse of green on the south side of campus. It would be a big mistake to construct a new building in that location — that building would be a blot on an attractive campus.
The objection I’m voicing is not to the new building itself. Regardless of how beautiful the building would be, placing it south of East Hall would break up the well-planned alignment of the campus. It would always be a growth in the wrong place [Eric Johnson, letter to the editor, Madison Daily Leader, 2015.10.06].
So does the class of 1955:
My family has an unusual history with this campus. My father’s mother and father, my mother and father, and my sister and I all attended DSU. My father actually went from kindergarten through college there. Both my grandfather and father were employed by DSU. So you can see why I feel so strongly about this.
I am all for progress and I think the folks at Dakota State have done a wonderful job in keeping the college progressive and a desirable destination for higher education.
However, to destroy a beautiful section of the campus and take many healthy trees out of the environment for this building is unconscionable when there are other locations available. Those locations, from what I understand, are the Lowry Hall site or the old hospital site.
Architects frequently forget to think about the community or those with vested interests in the project. Their main thoughts go to where they think it would like nice neglecting to examine the big picture.
I ran this past my class of 1955, many of whom either attended or graduated form DSU. They were all in agreement that a more extensive feasibility study and more consideration needs to occur before someone bulldozes history and assaults the environment [Jane Tyrrell Hofkamp, letter to the editor, Madison Daily Leader, 2015.10.01].
So does Madison Historic District resident John Goeman:
It has come to my attention that Dakota State University is proposing to build a new classroom building on the southeast corner of campus, south and west of East Hall. Construction in this location will block the view of East Hall, one of the beautiful campus historic buildings. It will also mean the destruction of many old trees as well as the beautiful lawn in that location.
Many people believe this is a bad decision and would urge the DSU administration to review alternative sites. Many people would suggest the Lowry site as a showpiece location for the new classroom building, right next to the statue of General Beadle and the Mundt Library [John Goeman, letter to the editor, Madison Daily Leader, 2015.09.28].
To help DSU with that thorough analysis, supporters of alternate locations for Beacom Hall are holding a public meeting at the Madison Public Library on Monday, October 26, at 7 p.m. Join the conversation Monday, and see if DSU and its big donor will listen.
Any Madison resident who wants to set up a wind generator, solar panels or any other type of electricity-generating device on their property will find new rules in the municipal code that are especially applicable if they want to sell any surplus power back to the city.
In late September, Madison officials approved a contract with Heartland Consumers Power District, a wholesale provider of electricity to Madison, that gave HCPD the authority to handle any electricity purchases from “small power production facilities” [Chuck Clement, “Madison, HCPD Sign Electricity Agreement,” Madison Daily Leader, 2015.10.12].
The bad news is the city and Heartland have adopted ALEC’s preferred policy of only paying wholesale for small-scale home-grown electricity:
During the discussion about the city-HCPD agreement, both [Mayor Roy] Lindsay and Steve Moses, Heartland’s customer relations manager, emphasized that small-scale electricity producers would receive payments based on the wholesale rate for electricity and not the retail payment rate.
“(The producers) are not going to get the same rate that they’re paying for electricity at the retail level…We will go ahead and take (the electricity) and pay whatever the price is,” Moses said [Clement, 2015.10.12].
A great building shell game moves one step closer to reality this week as the Board of Regents takes up at its Aberdeen meeting today the plan to buy the old Madison hospital for $1.6 million. According to Agenda Item 6-F, the Board will consider authorizing its exec to sign the purchase agreement that will allow the state to acquire the hospital, which sits at the northeast edge of the main campus.
The Madison Community Hospital is moving operations to the south side of town to a new 110,000-square-foot, $36.8-million facility. The Regents will spend $7.5 million renovating the hospital into student housing and a “Learning Engagement Center.” (Funny: when I’m on campus, I feel engaged in learning all over the place, but I guess we need a center for that engagement now.) According to DSU’s 2020 strategic plan, “Learning Engagement Center” means a central location for academic advising and tutoring.
The Regents are acquiring the building for free: the purchase price is covered by a grant from the Great Plains Education Foundation (ah, old student loan interest at work!). The renovation dollars will come from bonds.
Remember, this is the second time DSU has twinned its expansion with the Madison hospital. The Regents did the same thing in the 1960s, when the Madison hospital built the facility the Regents are now buying and moved out of what the Regents then purchased and turned into Heston Hall, which is now the DSU administrative building. Heston Hall and the new DSU housing/tutoring center sit kitty-wampus from each other at Washington Avenue and 8th Street.
Chuck Clement reports that new restaurateur Darin Namken appears to be persuading the Madison City Commission to close down Egan Avenue for a fun community event. Namken’s Pub House is sponsoring Ignite the Night, a 5K after-dark run/walk on Saturday, June 27. Namken says 350–400 people may come run around town with glow sticks that night. He told the city commission at their Monday, June 1 meeting that closing the Four Corners would help the event, and the city commissioners agreed, voicing support for the event and acknowledging approval of the street closure.
When the Madison Area Arts Council asked the commission to close Egan Avenue for musical events a few years ago, but Madison’s leaders expressed concern about blocking traffic and creating safety issues. The city commission’s resistance prompted the arts council moved its program out to Prairie Village. It’s good to see that Namken has managed to get through to commissioners the idea that prioritizing people and more cultural events over cars downtown every now and then is good for community development.