Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030

April 24, 2020

Augustana University announced in early December 2019 that its Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a new strategic plan – Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030. The strategic plan lays the foundation for Augustana to enhance its standing as a top-ranked regional university and elevate its national profile amidst extraordinary change in higher education.

“As a liberal arts university that bears witness to the transformational power of education, Augustana, over the next decade, will develop and deliver new and bold academic offerings to more students, amplify excellence through the arts and athletics, enhance intercultural awareness and understanding, and adapt the physical campus and IT infrastructure to inspire and support future generations of Augustana students and the broader community,” says Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. "This is a pivotal moment in the history of the university because of the magnitude of change in higher education."

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of the university because of the magnitude of change in higher education.” — Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, president

And six months into the Viking Bold journey, efforts to transform the university are well underway. Significant enhancements across four areas —academics; enrollment and strategic scholarships; athletics; physical campus and innovative technology — have been identified and will be carried out in Phase 1 of the strategic plan over the next three years. Action teams have been formed and began working in February 2020, and target completion dates have been identified.

“The Augustana community is energized to succeed,” says Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President Dr. Pam Homan ’81. “The established timelines are aggressive and will require each of us to focus and be bold in our efforts - however, these traits reside at the core of who we are as Augustana Vikings who aspire, drive, adapt and succeed!”

To enable the university to remain nimble and adjust to the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, the strategic plan comprises three phases and will be funded through the university’s largest, most comprehensive campaign to date. Augustana will evaluate its progress after each phase while adding and realigning resources to achieve the main goals. “This first phase will provide the opportunity to modify, adjust, excel and model all that is to come for Augustana University,” says Homan. “Our alumni and friends should see Viking Bold as an opportunity to be at the forefront of innovative change in the historic transformation of Augustana from the small college on the prairie to a nationally recognized university.”

President Herseth Sandlin adds, “For 160 years, Augustana has been providing students an education of enduring worth and preparing leaders and visionaries who influence every aspect of society. New academic programs and real-world research, learning and service opportunities will equip and empower an entirely new generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and educators to impact their workplaces and strengthen the communities they call home. Many of our graduates choose to live, work and raise families here in Sioux Falls, and Viking Bold reflects how Augustana and the city will continue to grow together.”

See below for highlights from the overall goals, target completion dates, and what we can expect from each of the four focus areas over the next three years.


PHASE 1: VIKING BOLD (2019-22)


OVERALL GOALS: Establish new academic structures and centers that sustain excellence, facilitate growth, and cultivate innovative and impactful teaching, learning, and research in order to provide an education of enduring worth; establish new academic programs grounded in the liberal arts that challenge the intellect while responding to the needs and interests of students. These programs will grow enrollment, diversify revenue and address workforce priorities of the local community and region.

• Organize into a College of Arts & Sciences (January 2021)

• Establish a School of Education

- Implement Augustana Master’s of Business Administration program (August 2020)

- Implement Doctorate of Physical Therapy (August 2020)

- Implement Master’s of Science in Nursing (September 2021)

- Implement Doctor of Nursing Practice (August 2023)

• Establish a School of Music (August 2020)

• Establish a Center for Interdisciplinary Programs within the College of Arts & Sciences (August 2020)

• Develop Medical Humanities program (August 2020)

• Develop Environmental Studies program (August 2021)

• Develop programs associated with intercultural studies (August 2022)


OVERALL GOALS: Transform the physical campus to include new and enhanced facilities that  serve the educational, spiritual and holistic needs of Augustana’s students, faculty and staff, and inspire others in the community who utilize our campus; transform Augustana into a dynamic digital campus through emerging technologies, excellent connectivity, and best practices in cyber security that serve student learning, enable innovative teaching and research, and support the university’s business processes and overall mission.

• Establish criteria for decision making, setting priorities, and resource allocation to implement a holistic Campus Master Plan (March 2020)

• Designate physical spaces across campus, including a multicultural center for activities and dialogue focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (July 2022)

• Establish sustainability plan, landscape master plan, campus heritage plan, and historic preservation management plan (March 2020)


OVERALL GOALS: Enroll 3,000+ undergraduate and graduate students and provide a welcoming and inclusive environment as different backgrounds, experiences and ways of thinking encourage learning, acceptance and service; make Augustana’s education more affordable and accessible for more students with innovative scholarship partnerships among alumni and regional organizations while adapting the university business model and operations to ensure financial sustainability.

• Implement a student recruitment plan (July 2020)

• Renew & re-envision programs that engage middle and high school students (April 2020)

• Establish creative scholarship opportunities as well as endowed scholarships (July 2022)


OVERALL GOALS: Recruit and retain exceptional student-athletes to maintain academic and athletic excellence and enhance their collegiate experience through academic and wellness support, community engagement, and service opportunities; transition to NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics by December 2020 to provide student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a higher level, elevate the profile of the university, and inspire Sioux Falls to enthusiastically embrace Augustana University as the hometown team by serving the community and integrating our mission with its needs.

• Seek and receive invitation to Division I multi-sport conference (December 2020)

• Design and build new softball/baseball complex (September 2021)

• Enhance Student Success Center services for student-athletes; have upgrades in place for first DI transition year (June 2021)

• Create athletic administration internships and programming for female and diverse student-athletes (April 2020)

• Review and revise sports team travel policies and procedures (June 2020-June 2021)

• Centralize and coordinate student-athlete health care and performance training (July 2022)

• Expand oversight and contact for student-athlete mental health care (June 2021)

• Define Division I championship culture; integrate into athletics’ policy and procedure statements (June 2021)

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