The Sioux Falls private liberal arts college recently welcomed its largest freshman class since 1978, and it has also seen the introduction of new academic programs in recent years, including a Masters in Genetic Counseling in partnership with Sanford Health.
Herseth Sandlin has big dreams for the university, and she sat down with Argus Leader Media to talk about her vision for Augustana ahead of her inauguration on Friday.
Question: What has you excited as you start your first year?
Answer: We’re very excited about all of the momentum with enrollment and academic offerings. We have great momentum in our endowment … the more we can raise for the endowment, the more generous the scholarships.
That’s what makes me most excited is building on the momentum that we already have.
What’s the next big thing on the horizon for Augustana?
We want to find ways to serve students.
Morrison Commons needs some renovation and some expansion. … When we look at dining facilities, in particular, we’re going to be taking a closer look at what we do to make sure Morrison Commons can continue to meet the needs of our students when it comes to dining and when it comes to entertainment.
We’re also very interested in addressing some of the pressures on the Elmen (athletic) Center. … I would tee that up as one of the things that’s on the horizon.
Just over the last few months, we’ve been able to secure a major (seven-figure) gift from the Hamre family for the renovation of Kresge Recital Hall, as well as other donors. Classrooms (in the Humanities building) are already getting some upgrades, and we hope to make improvements throughout the building.
Absolutely. We’re already doing it. … I’m a both-and kind of person, not an either-or.
Having come out of Raven Industries, I understand and commend Gov. Daugaard for a focus on workforce development as it relates to the role of our technical institutes meeting certain needs of businesses in technology and manufacturing.