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Education

DSU's cyber lab part of $288,000,000 package for state universities

DSU cyber research facility drawing
Dakota State University
A conceptual view of the planned DSU Applied Research Lab in Sioux Falls.

South Dakota Lawmakers have approved an unprecedented amount of funding for the state’s higher education system.

The legislature appropriated a total of nearly $288 million for special one-time projects on all 6 of the state’s university campuses. Around 87% of that money is for the construction and renovation of university buildings. The main funding source for these building projects comes from private donations which require legislative approval to spend.

One big-ticket item that lawmakers approved is Dakota State University’s applied research lab for cyber security. The planned opening date for the facility is 2025 in Sioux Falls.

DSU received $50 million in private donations for the proposed lab.

DSU President José-Marie Griffiths says the facility will help make South Dakota a center for cyber security research and business. She says this will create jobs for current DSU students seeking a degree in cyber security.

"It will allow our students who are appropriately qualified, or graduates who are appropriately qualified to actually be able to stay in South Dakota to for a career. They are high paying careers. And it also is a signal for some of our alumni who have been out somewhere else in the United States to have an opportunity to come back because now they can do what they're doing on one of the coasts in a facility like this, but we will have the facility here. So, it will act as a big attractor."

Dakota State University also received 30 million dollars in state general funds to expand its cyber security programming. Griffiths says the money will allow DSU to double the number of graduates seeking a degree in computer and cyber sciences.