Dickinson State University (DSU) has strengthened its organizational structure to help support enrollment, program development and growth, and leadership across campus. The new structure features four deans and two directors to lead the new four school system for the University.

The new structure focuses on specific program areas and types of needs for the university and students and to bolster the workforce in the Southwest North Dakota region, a key component for DSU’s dual mission initiative. The new organizational academic structure includes the School of Applied Sciences (SAS), School of Business and Entrepreneurship (SoBE), School of Education (SoE), and School of Professional Studies (SPS).

The new leadership team has extensive higher education experience necessary to elevate academic excellence in learning and improvement of the total student experience at Dickinson State University.

“We are pleased to have this strong team leading Dickinson State,” stated DSU President Steve Easton.

The appointed members of the academic leadership team include:

  • Joan Aus – Dean of School of Education
  • Lori Hauf – Dean of School of Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Jinasena Hewage – Interim Dean of School of Applied Sciences
  • Ann Wittkopp – Interim Dean of School of Professional Studies
  • Lucy Meyer – Director of Nursing
  • Chip Poland – Director of Agriculture and Technical Studies

About the Deans -

  • Dr. Aus joined Dickinson State in 2020, where she served as a faculty member, director of graduate studies, and chair of teacher education. Aus holds a doctorate in teaching and learning from University of North Dakota.
      • The primary academic areas that Dr. Aus will provide support include elementary education, composite social sciences, history, music education, English, and graduate programs in teaching, elementary education, educational leadership.  
  • Dr. Lori Hauf joined DSU in 1997, where she served in a variety of roles including most recently as a faculty member and chair of SoBE. Dr. Hauf graduated with her doctorate in general education from Northcentral University.
      • The primary academics areas that Dr. Hauf will provide support include university studies, accounting, administration, economics, esports, finance, human resources, business education, applied science (business majors), and graduate programs in business administration and entrepreneurship.
  • Dr. Hewage joined DSU in 2023 as a faculty member and holds a doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Maine. 
      • The primary academic areas that Dr. Hewage will provide support include computer science, biology, chemistry, environmental science, and nursing.
  • Wittkopp joined Dickinson State in 2018 and served in many roles including an instructor and an athletic trainer. Wittkopp holds a master’s in athletic training from Montana State University – Billings.
      • The primary academic areas that Wittkopp will provide support include physical education, exercise science, criminal justice, psychology, all programming under agriculture and technical studies, and master’s of sport administration.

About the Directors -

  • Dr. Poland joined Dickinson State in 2006, where he served as a faculty member and chair of the agriculture and technical students department. Dr. Poland earned his doctorate in animal sciences from South Dakota State University.
      • Dr. Poland will continue to oversee all programming related to agriculture and technical studies. He will report to the dean of professional studies.
  • Dr. Meyer joined DSU in 2005 and served as chair and a faculty member in the nursing department. Dr. Meyer graduated from the University of Mary with a doctorate in nursing organizational leadership.
      • Dr. Meyer will continue to oversee all programming related to nursing. She will report to the dean of applied sciences.