University of South Dakota President James Abbott gave his annual State of the University speech in which he touched on the university’s current challenges, congratulated the university’s accomplishments and laid out his plans for future improvement.
In the past, higher education from an institution has become a second option to most high school graduates because of the resources like the University Center in Sioux Falls, as well as online classes, Abbott said. According to The Chronicle Survey, by 2020, 60 percent of courses will be taken online, leaving the opportunity of moving to a campus in the dust.
That however is not the case for USD. This year alone, more than 1,200 first-year students enrolled at USD, bringing in higher GPAs and ACT scores.
“This is record breaking for first-time, full-time students,” Abbott said.
This past year, the university has seen many accomplishments in the business and theater departments, was ranked in the Princeton Review, voted number one provider of graduate education in South Dakota and, despite the discouraging numbers, has the biggest freshmen class yet.
Abbott said his campaign priorities for the upcoming year include fundraising for scholarship endowments, student enrichments, capital expansions and athletics to improve the university as a whole.