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Pierre, SD – The Capital University Center (CUC) Foundation Board of Directors has hired Chris Maxwell with Maxwell Strategies of Fort Pierre to create a vision for the future. The move comes as the state’s oldest university center and the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) change their 14 year partnership.
“We have an exciting challenge here,” says Maxwell. “The recent change with the Regents gives us an opportunity to define and explore new directions. This format allows us to respond in a different way to some of the needs our community has identified.”
Founded in 1982, CUC was originally created to meet ongoing education needs in the community. One of those needs was identified as a lack of a training program for health care professionals. As a result, CUC developed a nursing program. Over time, hundreds of nurses received quality education while remaining at home and working in the region. The current University of South Dakota Nursing program offered through CUC remains strong. The CUC foundation board believes the success of the nursing program is an example of how CUC can benefit central South Dakota in a broader range of possibilities.
Maxwell plans a three step approach in identifying CUC’s new role. His team will engage with the community. He will have discussions with the schools, students and business community to identify wants, needs and opportunities in education as well as work force development. The second step will be to look at success stories from other communities to see if any solutions can be recreated here. Finally, he says there is going to be plenty of opportunity to try new things and partner with the community in new and different ways.
“We’re focusing on a strategy which has the entire community working together. That’s how it started and how CUC intends to move forward,” says Maxwell.
Bob Riter, President of the CUC Foundation says the board fully supports the idea of redefining CUC’s role.
“Change is inevitable in just about everything. We know there are workforce challenges in the community and with Chris and his team on board, we have the flexibility to address those issues and any other needs the community defines in ways which haven’t been done before. CUC has a long history of success and we have every confidence it will have a bright future.”
Besides Riter, other foundation board members include: Pierre Mayor Steve Harding; Ellen Lee of Lee Real Estate, Kevin Stulken of Stulken, Peterson, Lingle and Walti; retired businessman Jim Mollison; Laurie Gill, Secretary of the SD Bureau of Human Resources; Cheryl Stone of the SD Bureau of Human Resources; Scott Jones of Delta Dental of South Dakota; Dr. Kelly Glodt, Pierre School District superintendent; Ron Woodburn, former CUC Director; Bob Gray of Reinke Gray Wealth Management; and Laura Schoen Carbonneau, CEO of the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce.