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SDSU Brand

The South Dakota State University brand can be thought of as the basic assumptions our constituents associate with our institution. It is made up of definitions of who we are, what we do and how we go about doing it.

SDSU's mission is to offer a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation, and the world.

Goals & Strategies

  • Achieve Excellence Through Transformative Education
  • Cultivate and Strengthen Community Engagement
  • Foster Innovation and Increase Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (RSCA)
  • Be a Growing, High-Performing and Healthy University


South Dakota State University will be a premier land-grant university recognized for high value, innovation and bold impact.

Core Values

  • People-Centered: We recognize leadership is derived from service to others. We are committed to creating a culture where all thrive and are supported on their own personal and professional paths toward lifelong learning, growth, and leadership.
  • Creativity: Creativity is our cornerstone to expand knowledge, develop human understanding, and enrich quality of life. We believe that education and research/scholarship/creative activity reinforce one another and the best academic programs bring innovative teaching and rigorous research together.
  • Integrity: We act with organizational and personal integrity, through honest interactions, professionalism, transparent and accountable decision-making, and respect for others.
  • Diversity: We are committed to diversity of community and ideas. We believe in a supportive, inclusive, collaborative, and cohesive environment with a focus on access. We actively seek collaboration and we respect individuals with differing perspectives, backgrounds, and areas of expertise.
  • Excellence: Excellence is achieved through continuous improvement, assessment, and accountability. We embrace bold action and adapt to an ever-changing environment. Individually, we are experts at what we do. Collectively, our impact is even greater.

The words within each element of the SDSU brand are not meant for literal, repetitive application in communications. Nor are they “tag lines.” Rather, they are meant to serve as a strategic guide for university actions and communications and as a guide for evaluation in order to help assure long-term focus, consistency, and brand development.

Building the SDSU Brand

When we incorporate South Dakota State University’s brand messages consistently in our communications—through print and online marketing materials, news releases, educational delivery, outreach programs—we continue to improve our reputation. By adhering to the brand, we prove to the public that we can be trusted to deliver what we promise. We show our strength and integrity.

Each time constituents come in contact with an SDSU brochure, event, social media platform, Web page, or even a faculty or staff member, they naturally form and reshape their opinions of our institution. When they encounter consistent approaches and delivery of services, stakeholders feel a sense of familiarity and confidence. The end result is increased credibility and university standing.

Upholding the university brand does not start and stop with the marketing department. All employees shape the SDSU brand through their actions, comments and messages to stakeholders.