Michael Adelaine, vice president for technology and security at South Dakota State University, has announced he will retire June 19.
Adelaine started at SDSU in 1990 as an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and SDSU Extension computer specialist. He then became the first director of the agricultural information technology unit for the then-College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and was promoted to full professor. Adelaine was named the university’s first full-time chief information technology officer in 2003 and then was promoted to his current role in 2013.
In 2019, the Federal Communications Commission chose Adelaine as one of four individuals to chair working groups to look at the technology needs of precision agriculture. He will continue in that role for the mapping and analyzing connectivity on agricultural lands group. The group, which will help identify connectivity gaps on agricultural lands, is part of the FCC’s new Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture.
Adelaine also played a key role in the creation of a central security operations center at South Dakota State for the South Dakota Board of Regents and the Regents Information Systems. He also oversaw recent additions of a high-performance computing cluster and a 100-gigabyte internet connection on campus.
“It’s the right time to retire,” Adelaine said. “The guiding premise for me has been the university’s land-grant mission and using technology to improve lives for the citizens of South Dakota, their children and to make a difference in their lives.
“The university has provided me so many opportunities. I’m one who loves change. I really enjoy it. When asked if I would take on a new challenge, I’ve always said ‘Sure,’“ he continued. “I’ve had many conversations with governors, numerous elected officials and have been able to travel to Poland and Russia and other really enjoyable opportunities with SDSU Extension. The opportunities are there, you have to be willing to step through the door, check things out and be open to new experiences.”
In addition, Adelaine oversaw the arrangement that allowed SDSU to be the first university in the United States to use Hotmail as a pilot program for students. He also built the first extension educational videoconference network and served as principal investigator for more than $4 million in grants.
“Dr. Adelaine’s distinguished career at SDSU has impacted thousands of people over the years,” said SDSU President Barry Dunn. “His service to the university and our state required leading change during some of the most dynamic times in history as it relates to advancements in technology. The growth of the internet and advancement of technical knowledge changed how we teach, conduct research and even how we provide critical resources to our students and faculty. Dr. Adelaine’s ability to lead those transitions is what made SDSU a leader. He will always be a member of the Jackrabbit family and we wish him well in his retirement.”
Adelaine wrote a book chapter on cloud computing, served as president of the Northern Tier Network Consortium, president of the South Dakota Extension Specialists Association and president of SDSU’s faculty senate.
The Harbor Springs, Michigan, native received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State and earned master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.