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Sociology Strategic Plan

Executive Summary

Sociology as an academic discipline at South Dakota State University had its beginning as early as 1897. Although not established as a formal department until 1925, basic courses in Sociology were taught as parts of other departments. With the passage of federal legislation providing for research in Sociology and Economics, the department was established as part of the Agricultural College. Local needs for continuing education and on-campus instruction along with the federal incentives for research provided the department with a set of missions which to this day encompass teaching, advising, research, service, and extension education. 

Strategic Goals

Strategic goals and related objectives of the Rural Sociology Department include:

  • Enhance academic excellence and strengthen research/scholarship in the department
    • Secure additional scholarships for undergraduate majors and additional funding for graduate students
    • Develop outreach recruitment campaigns directed to non-traditional students and employers
    • Strengthen core competencies of Sociology students in communication, technology skills, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking
    • Increase the number of Sociology students who present their work at professional meetings and in student-oriented publications
    • Develop faculty research agendas and involve students in them
  • Foster economic growth, vibrant communities and a sustainable environment through departmental research/scholarship and outreach
    • Develop an entrepreneurial culture in the department encouraging social as well as economic innovation, and creativity
    • Enhance the delivery of outreach through the Rural Life Census Data Center
    • Develop programs to strengthen professions critical to the creation of healthy, responsive, and safe communities in collaboration with community-based organizations and agencies
  • Expand the reach of the university, college, and department through engagement, technology, and globalization
    • Collaborate with public, private, and tribal partners in research, service, and extension
    • Increase opportunities for student participation in service-learning, study abroad, and civic engagement
    • Make use of the most advanced technologies in teaching and research
    • Provide professional development opportunities for students, faculty, and staff
  • Establish a sustainable financial resource base in the department required for high achievement by faculty, staff, and students
    • Work with the SDSU Foundation in developing new sustainable revenue sources
    • Develop a “marketing” strategy to inform stakeholders of our work and needs
    • Effectively and efficiently manage our current resources
    • Collaborate with others in aggressively pursuing external grants to support research agendas