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South Dakota State University
Office of the President
Sioux Falls
South Dakota
Posted: 04/20/2022
Director of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives

South Dakota State University (SDSU) is seeking a dynamic, high-energy individual to serve as the Director of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives. Reporting to the President, the successful applicant will be a confident problem solver with an approachable, professional demeanor who demonstrates excellent judgement and a genuine desire to assist in meeting the goals and needs of South Dakota State University. This individual must have impeccable integrity with the utmost level of professionalism and discretion. This position will be officed in Sioux Falls.

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant mission of access.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Through collaboration, coordinate bold initiatives focusing on workforce development and relationship building in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area.

  • Establish strong relationships with Sioux Falls area leaders to promote SDSU partnerships;
  • Cultivate partnership opportunities and engage appropriate leaders and staff to connect SDSU with Sioux Falls;
  • Cultivate awareness of opportunities and connections between Sioux Falls and SDSU;
  • Conceptualize strategies and tactics to create meaningful and effective engagement opportunities;
  • Follow up on partnership opportunities to ensure SDSU is meeting the needs of the Sioux Falls metro area; and
  • Provide coordination, ensure accountability and provide direct support for the success of SDSU’s Sioux Falls Academy and other bold initiatives.

Serve as a liaison between the President’s Office and key external groups in the Sioux Falls area.

  • Represent SDSU within key Sioux Falls area community development organizations;
  • In consultation with the President, coordinate and strengthen interactions and enhance teamwork with a variety of external entities, organizations, groups and elected and appointed officials;
  • Actively identify opportunities for involvement and engagement by University leaders; and
  • Develop collaborative relationships between SDSU and community partners and leaders to ensure strategic initiatives are accomplished.

Research, prepare, facilitate and advise the President and other senior staff members on key external affairs.

Promote a positive image of the University and higher education by representing the University in community, state, and regional activities and events.

Contribute to the overall success of the Office of the President by performing all other duties and responsibilities as assigned. 


A Bachelor’s degree and at least ten years or a Master’s degree and five years of relevant professional experience in a broad array of areas to include at least two of the following: demonstrated accomplishments in working independently and collaboratively in a complex organization; demonstrated experience in anticipating, assessing, and resolving problems; ability to collect, analyze and interpret information; ability to prioritize and achieve results; experience independently establishing and maintaining professional relationships; experience leading, coordinating, and implementing projects and initiatives; experience working with a wide range of constituencies with diplomacy; and/or demonstrated leadership and organizational development skills. Successful candidates must have strong written communication skills and advanced interpersonal and oral communication skills to establish and maintain customer relationships. A valid driver’s license is required.


Successful candidates will possess: impeccable organizational skills and a commitment to conscientious follow-up; positive and constructive attitude with the ability to work effectively as a member of a team; ability to maintain strict confidentiality and discretion; and ability to perform complex tasks and to prioritize multiple projects.


Commensurate with qualifications.


South Dakota State University offers a wide range of benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave. Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 academic programs, an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students, and over $60 million annual research expenditures.

South Dakota State University offers 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. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity of thought, and excellence through continuous improvement.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of South Dakota State University is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

Brookings is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. Brookings is listed as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals and retirees, and is rated among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota.

The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grade, one middle school, and a high school.

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by May 4, 2022.


SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, visit:, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, resume, and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process. 

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment. It is university policy to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students. This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14.

For questions on the position, contact Michaela Willis at 605-688-4493 or e-mail at

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant access mission. SDSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to, and SDSU prohibits discrimination on, the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact: Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007, 605-688-4128.