From staff reports
Retired Sanford executive Dave Link has been hired as the program manager for the Dakota State University Rising initiative.
Link, a Sioux Falls native, began as director of data processing at Sanford Health in 1983, when the health care system was Sioux Valley Hospital. In his 32-year career, he became a top executive, helping oversee key initiatives such as Sanford Clinic, Sanford Health Plan, Sanford International Clinics and Sanford Research.
He retired in 2015 as senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer.
“Clearly, his background in planning and bringing strategic initiatives from idea to implementation is something we need with the generous gifts we have received,” said DSU president Jose-Marie Griffiths.
The university announced a transformative $30 million gift this summer from Denny Sanford and Miles and Lisa Beacom that helped create DSU Rising. The initiative will provide for improvements, including construction of a research and development facility called Madison Cyber Labs, new program development and the hiring of additional faculty and staff over a five-year period.
“Mr. Link will help with strategies for the new projects” Griffiths said, “but also with operational plans, financial plans and developing the connections we need to make to bring the Rising goals to fruition.”
While Link’s experience is with a health care entity, he sees similarities with higher education.
“All organizations have similar components, including structure, revenue and expenses, programs and facilities. It’s just a matter of bringing those together to achieve the vision,” he said, adding that “Dakota State’s vision will be a tremendous boost for the school, the cybersecurity program and the state overall.”
His first official day at DSU was Oct. 16, and the first thing on his agenda is to meet with the faculty and staff who have a role in the Madison Cyber Labs.
“It may be trite, but it’s true that the people make the organization,” he said. “The faculty, staff and students have really created a tremendous resource here at DSU, and I look forward to learning about and assisting with that.”
Link, who has a bachelor’s degree in data processing and computer science, an MBA and a master’s in health care administration, said he is excited to be a part of what is being built at Dakota State.
“The president has a great vision, and the faculty, staff and students have created a wonderful program and a great environment,” he said. “I think we’ll all be amazed by what will be accomplished at Dakota State in the next five to ten years.”
Have you seen DSU lately? Prepare to be amazed by the changes