The learning curve for the recently named President of South Dakota State University is relatively short. Barry Dunn’s ties to the institution run deep.

With multiple degrees and a half-decade as the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Dunn in his new position is paying SDSU back for the opportunities afforded him.

“I’ve always been captured by the Land Grant mission of access to the common person of the benefits of higher education. They benefited my family and changed my family’s direction. I’ve seen first hand the benefits of this wonderful university and (want to) help other people enjoy the benefits of it.”

It’s no surprise that Dunn has a firm grasp of State’s mission with his lengthy association. Within the first year at the helm Dunn has three main priorities.

“(One goal) is to really commit myself to keep the momentum going on campus for excellence on the academic side. (Another is) enhancing the outreach part of our Land Grant mission and then continuing to build the research engine that really is the driver of innovation and economic development in South Dakota.”

Closer at hand, Dunn will preside over the christening of the new Dana J. Dykhouse football stadium this September and has just finished his first round of meetings with the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Dunn took over as President of South Dakota State on May 23.