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Monday Message, July 24

SDSU Community –

The last full week of July reminds us that we are less than a month away from the school year beginning. I know many of our employees and their families are taking well-deserved vacations these next couple of weeks as we begin to turn the corner to another academic year.

I am also excited to share some important news that will benefit the faculty and staff of our university. SDSU will be able to provide an option for greater access to child care for our employees. This important effort is in response to our campus climate surveys where many employees expressed the need for better child care options.

The South Dakota State University Early Learning Center is the continuation of the relationship started with Bright Horizons and the Early Learning Center of Brookings. The Larson Family Foundation gifted SDSU the opportunity to assume operations of the center in 2020. SDSU operated the Early Learning Center of Brookings as a nonprofit.

This past November, the Board of Regents approved the transfer of operations and leadership to the university. The renaming of the center to the South Dakota State University Early Learning Center was approved last month.

The SDSU Early Learning Center will continue to contract with Bright Horizons for operational management. Bright Horizons is a management company that operates over 800 child care facilities across the country and offers National Association for the Education of Young Children-accredited programs for infants, toddlers/twos, preschool and kindergarten prep.

SDSU employees, students, members of SDSU Foundation and members of SDSU Alumni Association will receive priority consideration to the center. Please contact the center’s director, Barbara Caulfield, by phone at 605-741-9013 if you have interest in learning more about the center or any current openings.

This is certainly an opportunity for our employees, and it supports our core value of being people centered. I would like to thank Mike Holbeck and his team in the Division of Budget and Finance for leading this effort and the support of individuals in Human Resources to make this possible.

Thank you for everything you do to make our university a wonderful place. The fall semester is getting closer, and soon we will welcome many of our faculty back to campus. It is going to be an exciting fall semester.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, and please plan to attend the faculty/staff picnic on Aug. 15 if your schedule allows. Additional information and how to RSVP is located below.

Go Jacks!


Barry H. Dunn, President

The faculty/staff picnic will be held Aug. 15 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Club 71 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. Please register online if you can attend. We hope to see everyone there. – New Online Tutoring Platform – The Office of Continuing and Distance Education is launching a new online tutoring service from, available to SDSU students beginning Aug. 1. There is no cost to the students. connects students with expert online tutors who can help with a wide variety of course subjects.

Students will also have access to educational tools and study resources such as:

  • Study tools and lessons
  • Drop-off writing review
  • Diagnostic quizzes
  • Instructional videos

Students will access via their D2L course shell under “Help” on the course menu bar.

All SDSU students will have up to 15 hours per semester allocated to them for utilizing, and we can provide additional hours on a case-by-case basis for students who may need additional support. While all students enrolled in an SDSU course may be able to access and utilize through their D2L course shells, our promotion of the service will be primarily to our online and distance learners.

Additional information for students is available on the CDE webpage and in the SDSU Virtual Student Union.

The IDS fall training schedule is available on InsideState. The eLearning applications refresher workshops and weekly webinars prepare faculty for a successful semester. Classroom tours can be requested individually to IDS. All SDSU faculty, staff and GTAs are encouraged to attend these trainings.

Please direct your individual questions or any requests to IDS.

The Miller Wellness Center is holding a food drive for Jack's Cupboard during the month of August.

For each donation, participants receive 1% off the total price of a membership, personal training, group swim lessons or outdoor gear rentals. Each person may donate up to 15 items and donations needed include rice, noodles, canned meats, gluten-free items, canned fruits, cereal and Hamburger Helper meals.

Items can be brought directly to the Miller Wellness Center.

The South Dakota Art Museum will host is last free concert of the season tomorrow from 6-7:30 p.m., featuring JAS Quintet (original jazz music and standards throughout the Jazz Age). Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets, in addition to food items. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase. The art museum auditorium will be used in the event of inclement weather.

The museum will be open extended hours on Tuesdays in July from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and regular hours on other weekdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays from noon-4 p.m.

Faculty and staff will receive notice to complete the annual Title IX and equal opportunity online training. Federal guidance and SDBOR policy require post-secondary institutions to provide annual training to all employees. More importantly, the training supports SDSU’s core values and retention efforts.

The SDBOR has contracted with a vendor, SafeColleges, for this online training program. The required training for the 2023-24 academic year is “Title IX and Sexual Harassment Prevention for Employees” (28 minutes). In addition, information is provided regarding equal opportunity regulations including new federal legislation titled Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The training must be completed no later than Sept. 29.

Employees will receive a message via their sdstate email accounts inviting them to complete the trainings. The email will be titled “SafeColleges Online Training” and will include instructions on how to access and complete the trainings.

If you experience concerns while operating the trainings, please email Michelle Johnson.

The Miller Wellness Center will host its first Jackrabbit Open Pickleball Tournament on Aug. 25-27.

Events to be offered include: men's and women's singles, 60-plus open doubles, men's and women's doubles, mixed doubles, and 12U open doubles in 3.0 and under, 3.5, and 4.0-plus skill divisions.

Registration is $35 for the first event and $15 for each additional event. Participants are guaranteed three games for each event in which they register. Registration will close Aug. 9.

Please contact Kyle Dawson by email or at 605-688-5294 with any questions.

The South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum is hosting its annual Summertime Food Trucks and Fun series. The event will run from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and the food truck, tables, chairs and musician will be set up north of the museum.

Parking is available in the lot north of the museum. In case of inclement weather, check the museum’s social media pages for any changes. The last event in the series includes:

  • Wednesday: Shorty's Hot Box food truck and music by Kyle Knutson.

The Monday Message appears weekly during the academic year and less frequently during the summer months and holiday breaks.

Information for the Monday Message, including nominations for Above and Beyond, can be submitted online through the submission form.