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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 strategic intent is to be recognized as a nationally distinct, locally relevant, accessible leader of higher education, combining scholarly excellence in education, research and service with innovation, adaptability, savvy and insight. Our intent is to be the best among our peers and to be recognized as such.

Strategic Intent and Goals

South Dakota State University will create a prosperous future for the people of South Dakota and their communities, and for the region and the nation, through excellence in education, in innovation and new knowledge creation, and in putting knowledge to work.


South Dakota State University will be a nationally recognized, locally relevant, student-centered and accessible land-grant university.


In all that is done at South Dakota State University, we will:

  • Have a passion for and commitment to excellence.
  • Be flexible, responsive and innovative.
  • Be high performing.
  • Exhibit loyalty and commitment to mission.
  • Value people and be inclusive, treat all with dignity and respect others’ beliefs and abilities.
  • Be accountable, trustworthy and professional.
  • Act with honesty, integrity and pride.
  • Seek and welcome feedback for continuous improvement.
  • Value engagement, service, stewardship and civic responsibility.
  • Strive to control our destiny.

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.