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World–Class Careers Start Here!

It is truly an honor and privilege to lead the flagship business

school in the state of South Dakota, the Beacom School of

Business. Since becoming its dean in August 2014, I have

had the pleasure of working closely with an amazing team

of faculty, staff, students and alumni and have experienced

first–hand South Dakota’s culture of hard work, humility,

integrity, collaboration and lean management. I have

gained a deep understanding of and appreciation for the

Beacom School of Business’ long tradition of achieving and

enhancing student success.

Beacom faculty are world–class in their dedication

to student learning. They not only provide cutting–

edge knowledge and skills, they are sincerely engaged in

mentoring students through academic and career advising,

engaging in student–organizations and connecting with

alumni and business/community leaders. Beacom staff

collectively provides excellent support so our students start

their world–class careers right after graduation. There is a

transformational learning community evolving here, with

entrepreneurial thinking, prudent investment and laser–sharp

focus toward realizing our strategic vision of becoming “the

school of choice” for high quality students and employers.

The Beacom School of Business is deeply committed

to local and regional economic development as well.

We continue to work toward creating a steady supply

of next–generation entrepreneurs who will contribute to

economic prosperity in South Dakota and the region. Our

Entrepreneur–in–Residence program has now expanded

to five successful real–world entrepreneurs. We established

a state–of–the–art InnovationLab with technologies and

tools for students to experience rapid innovation. Thanks to

several industry supporters, we have the latest CAD systems,

3–D printers and 3–D scanners that enable our students to

experience and learn how to reduce the time–to–market to

become successful entrepreneurs. At the Beacom School of

Business, we develop success one entrepreneur at a time!

Innovation is occurring in our academic programs as

well. Beacom faculty have been heavily engaged in new

program development. New minors in Business Analytics

and Innovation & Entrepreneurship have been approved

and are ready to roll out in fall 2016. New majors in

Operational Analytics and Innovation & Entrepreneurship

are waiting for final approval from the Board of Regents

before they are rolled out as well. Faculty are deeply involved

in pedagogical innovations such as “flipped classrooms” and

simulation modeling. Beacom faculty are also starting to

develop program advisory councils for each major in order to

strengthen connections with alumni and industry leaders.

One of the highlights of last year is the rapid enrollment

growth we have witnessed in our online graduate programs

despite intense regional/national competition. Our

undergraduate programs also witnessed growth amidst a

highly competitive marketplace. The new majors and minors

as well as our continued dedication toward student success

and mentoring is helping us sustain our growth, despite our

limited resources dedicated for marketing and branding.

A key strategic priority is faculty excellence. Beacom

faculty are engaged and demonstrate excellence in research

and scholarship. The Beacom Scholar Series showcases

our faculty’s research findings and offers a new platform

for collaborative research. We are investing in faculty

development efforts including professional development,

summer research, and faculty–student collaborative learning


We have made significant progress in developing new

academic programs, growing our faculty resources, and

investing in faculty development. We are confident that the

innovative culture that is evolving at the Beacom School of

Business will help us realize our ambitious plans that focus

on enrollment growth and higher rankings.

We are proudly committed to our students and alumni

success. World–class careers start at the Beacom School of


Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D.

Dean, Beacom School of Business