Ag dean among new SDSU hires

Ellen Nelson

Ellen Nelson

While students were away, SDSU filled several prominent faculty and staff positions to improve not only the university’s academics, but also its image.

Barry Dunn is the newly named dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. Michael Lockrem became director of SDSU’s marketing, image and communications and Brian Rex is the new and first-ever architectural department head.

As the new dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, Dunn will be responsible for a $44 million budget, along with $17 million in grants and contracts.

Dunn was formerly employed by SDSU as an agricultural academic administrator. He currently serves at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where he is the executive director and the Kleberg Endowed Chair at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management.

Dunn has had hands-on experience with farming, has developed a master’s degree curriculum in ranch management and has taught graduate-level courses in ranch management every semester while at TAMUK, according to a recent press release.

“It’s an advantage that Dr. Dunn has ties to the school and has lived in the area before,” said Mark Sandager, a junior agriculture education major.

“He’s been in our shoes before and will easily be able to relate to us (agriculture students) because of that,” said Sandager.

Because fall 2010 marks the beginning of SDSU’s first architectural program, Rex is faced with the unique opportunity of building a program from scratch, said Jerry Jorgensen, who was a part of the hiring committee for Rex’s position.

After finishing previous obligations in Texas, Rex will permanently start the full-time position beginning this summer.

The unique challenge of constructing a program from the ground up was what attracted Rex to the job, said Jorgensen.

Referring to Rex’s qualifications and characteristics as a professional, Jorgensen said that out of all of the other applicants for the position, that he is, “up to the task, I have no doubt.”

As department head, Rex is responsible for developing the curriculum and facilities, along with hiring faculty and staff.

“I am excited and honored to be a part of this new program at SDSU,” said Rex in a press release. “What attracts me the most about coming to South Dakota State University and to South Dakota is the overwhelming support this new architectural program seems to enjoy from the professional community, the SDSU academic community and the founders’ group.”

As of Dec. 15, Lockrem became State’s Director of Marketing, Image and Communications.

With many years of experience within the public relations field, including working closely with the University of Minnesota’s sports teams, Lockrem possesses qualities that will help SDSU achieve higher standards.

As the university continues to grow, along with size, the things that the school represents expands as well. Lockrem’s duties will help to advocate SDSU to a broader audience than the current spectrum.

“With significant growth, there’s a need to collaborate the many different aspects of the colleges so it can come together to reach out to new audiences,” said Lockrem.

He is looking forward to implementing strategies to recruit a broader audience and said it is a fun and challenging to reach out to new audiences.