Board of Regents

BOR Enrollment Down, Retention Up for Fall 2020

17 hours ago
South Dakota Board of Regents

Fall enrollment is down in the state’s public university system for a third year in a row, but Board of Regents leadership says it’s not all bad news.

The fall 2020 headcount for the state’s six public universities is down 2.8%. That’s a loss of 954 students system-wide from last year’s enrollment. It’s not the worst drop in recent memory, but the decrease continues a trend that started in 2018.

BOR executive director Brian Maher says there is some good news: 2019’s first-year students came back this fall at a higher rate than previous years.

BOR Approves Mask Requirements for Fall Semester

Jul 22, 2020

The Board of Regents is implementing a policy for mask requirements on campuses this fall. The state’s six public universities will require masks in all public indoor spaces for at least the first month of the semester.

The protocol has four levels. Level one only requires masks in labs or other instructional settings that require close contact; level four requires masks both indoors and outdoors.

As BOR Prepares for Fall, Faculty Express Concern

Jul 22, 2020

Faculty and students from five of the state’s six public universities have signed a letter urging the Board of Regents to reconsider its commitment to face-to-face teaching this fall. The BOR is meeting this afternoon to discuss the fall semester.

The letter asks that no one be required to attend class in person or be required to disclose medical information in order to teach or attend class online.  

South Dakota Board of Regents

None of South Dakota’s public universities are planning to require masks in the fall semester. Instead, they’re strongly encouraging masks by setting an example through social media and other platforms. 

BOR Condenses Fall Semester in Response to COVID-19

Jun 4, 2020
South Dakota Board of Regents

The Board of Regents has new information about the fall semester for the state’s six public universities. Students will start classes a few days earlier and finish in-person classes by Thanksgiving. 

Janelle Toman  is the communications director for the Regents. She says students will take their final exams remotely after the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s up to individual universities and programs to determine any other adjustments to their fall calendar.

The South Dakota Board of Regents has announced it’s moving all public university classes online for two weeks. 

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

The Council for Higher Education, or COHE, is continuing contract negotiations with the Board of Regents even after a bill banning collective bargaining for public faculty passes the statehouse.

COHE is a branch of the South Dakota Education Association, which advocates on behalf of educators at all levels. Mary McCorkle is the president of that organization. She says changes will come, but negotiations continue.

Governor Noem supports a bill prohibiting collective bargaining for faculty at the state’s six public universities. Senate Bill 147 is on its way to her desk as one of two related bills that surfaced this session.

The governor agrees with proponents who say eliminating collective bargaining will offer greater flexibility for university hiring practices.


One of two bills banning collective bargaining for public university faculty is on its way to the governor’s desk. Governor Noem has said she supports the idea in the past.

Supporters of Senate Bill 147 say dues paying members account for less than 10% of eligible university faculty, while the negotiation process is estimated to cost the Board of Regents $285,000.

A bill seeking the combination of two state university administrations has morphed into something bigger. 

The bill now seeks a review of “program and administrative efficiencies” at all six state universities in South Dakota. 


A bill to prohibit collective bargaining for employees of the state’s public universities is moving to the Senate floor.

Proponents argue it gives the Board of Regents more flexibility to stay competitive. Opponents say it sends a negative message to the state’s professors—and complicates the hiring process.

Senate Majority Leader Kris Langer is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 147. She says the current contracting agreement for public university faculty is more than 100 pages of time-locked agreements that hinder institutional flexibility.

Dakota Political Junkies

Feb 12, 2020

In The Moment ... February 12, 2020 Show 752 Hour 2

The tension between South Dakota lawmakers and the Board of Regents shows itself in proposed legislation. A bill seeking to make divorce harder to come by in the state takes heat from those who practice family law. Plus, should the South Dakota congressional delegation provide an annual, in-person update to lawmakers in Pierre?  Jonathan Ellis is a reporter for the Argus Leader, and Mike Card is associate professor of political science at the University of South Dakota. 

Dakota's Promise: Needs-Based Scholarship Bill Returns

Jan 28, 2020

The South Dakota Board of Regents is pressing lawmakers to support needs-based scholarships for college students. Senate Bill 72 establishes the Dakota’s Promise scholarship for low-income students. It hasn’t yet reached committee, but a similar bill last year passed the Senate unanimously before failing on the House floor.

During an informational presentation to the Senate Education Committee, Board of Regents Executive Director Paul Beran says this year’s bill addresses some of the concerns raise last year.

South Dakota Board of Regents

Fall enrollment for full-time equivalent students at South Dakota’s six public universities is down three percent. That’s nearly a full percentage point lower than last fall. This is the fifth year in a row fall enrollment has shown a decrease in full-time students. 

The Board of Regents is the governing body over the state’s public universities. BOR Executive Director and CEO Paul Beran says the decline in students signals a strong job market that encourages some students to choose the workforce over education.

Jackie Hendry

Earlier this year the state legislature passed a bill related to intellectual diversity on college campuses. On Friday, USD hosted a forum with administrators and legal counsel to address faculty and student concerns with the new legislation. 

USD Website

The University of South Dakota is offering a new bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience in the fall.

The Board of Regents approved the degree last week along with specializations in cognitive neuroscience and molecular and cellular neuroscience.

Doug Peterson is an Associate Professor of Psychology at USD. He says this new degree provides students the opportunity to study how the nervous system applies to daily life.

A former employee of Northern State University has appealed her firing to the South Dakota Supreme Court. The former director of the student affairs counseling center says she was fired in December 2017 as retaliation for whistle-blowing. Her university supervisors and the Board of Regents say she didn't go through proper channels to appeal her firing.

The Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday, April 30. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Board of Regents Names Next Executive Director

Jul 27, 2018
South Dakota Board of Regents

The South Dakota Board of Regents selects Paul Beran as its next executive director and CEO. Beran has held faculty and administrative positions in higher education in five different states. Before this appointment, he served for more than a decade as chancellor of the University of Arkansas.

USD Announces Sheila Gestring as New President

May 1, 2018
Jackie Hendry

After a nation-wide search, the University of South Dakota has a new president. USD's current chief financial officer Sheila Gestring takes over for outgoing President James Abbott in June. 


The senate education committee effectively tables a bill prohibiting students who are in the country illegally from attending public universities. Senate Bill 103 is sent to the 41st day after more than an hour and a half of testimonies and discussion. 

Opponents of the bill argue the Board of Regents lacks power and resources to uphold federal immigration law. Legal counsel for the Board of Regents also states the system is not considered complicit in harboring criminals under federal statute.

In The Moment ... January 30, 2018 Show 266 Hour 2

House Bill 1199 has straightforward language. It's an act to prohibit collective bargaining by employees of the Board of Regents.

We first spoke with South Dakota Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson about the effort on Januay 23rd.

Today we welcome another voice on the topic. Mary McCorkle is president of the South Dakota Education Association. She's a language arts teacher from Mobridge.

In The Moment ... August 28, 2017 Show 165 Hour 1

Students at Harrisburg High School are soon going to be able to participate in an early college program which would allow them to earn college credit at no cost to them while still in high school. Joining us today to expand on this program is Superintendent of the Harrisburg school District Jim Holbeck. Welcome to In The Moment.

Governor Daugaard Voices Support Of Amendment R

Jun 28, 2016
Erin Mairose

Governor Dennis Daugaard is supporting a constitutional  amendment to separate technical schools from the k-12 education system. Amendment R also changes the state’s constitution allowing technical schools to be governed apart from the Board of Regents.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says Amendment R updates the state constitution to meet the demand for technical workers. 

The state Board of Regents has appointed a task force to look at potentially allowing beer and wine to be sold at campus events for the state's six public universities. 

Janelle Toman  is the director of communications for the board of regents. She says the task force is in its early stages of discussions about allowing alcohol to be sold during events such as sporting games and fine art performances. 

SD Board of Regents

During its annual planning meeting in Pierre this week, the South Dakota Board of Regents asked Governor Dennis Daugaard to make a tuition freeze for resident students the highest priority for the next fiscal year. The goal is to bring the funding ratio from student and government back to 50/50 over three years. Governor Daugaard's support two years ago led lawmakers to approve a freeze during the 2014 session. A similar request was made last year, but wasn’t recommended by the governor or considered by the state legislature.

USD Seeks $1M Appropriation for Research Park Expansion

Mar 5, 2014

The University of South Dakota’s research park in Sioux Falls has the potential to expand, if state lawmakers OK the funding. House Bill 1175 seeks the state government’s approval for $1 million to further develop the park, after the university’s request through the Board of Regents was denied. Proponents say it promotes economic development, as private companies partner with USD’s biomedical program.

Board of Regents Executive Director Jack Warner doesn’t testify for or against the bill, but answers committee questions about the importance of the research facility.

New methods to help ready incoming college students for important courses appear to be effective. Some of South Dakota’s public universities are using programs that change the way higher ed handles remediation. 

A new math model at South Dakota State University proved so effective in its pilot that SDSU is implementing it. This method uses a combination of assessments to determine where a student’s skills lie and better aligns his or her abilities with the right level of math.

University Students May Get Rights to Sue

Jan 23, 2014

The South Dakota House supports a measure that allows university students to take some grievances to court.

The bill doesn’t allow students to sue a professor over grades, but it does give student the right to begin litigation against a university in residency disputes and disciplinary actions.

Grants To Expand Research At SD Universities

Jan 17, 2014

The South Dakota Board of Regents recently announced a series of innovation grants to expand research at several universities in South Dakota. Paul Turman, Vice President for Research & Economic Development with the SD Board of Regents, talked about the new grants. For more details on the grants, click here: