higher education

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.

The state Department of Health reports 71 COVID-19 cases are currently tied to college campuses. The state’s public universities are not expected to report individual campus numbers to the public.

With colleges around the country already closing after outbreaks, local university leaders say it’s up to students how long their campus stays open.

University of South Dakota President Sheila Gestring says there’s no clear number of COVID-19 cases that would close campus again.

2020 Bush Fellow: Valeriah Big Eagle

Jun 24, 2020
Bush Foundation

In The Moment … June 24, 2020 Show 845 Hour 2

Believing an equitable education can heal, Valeriah Big Eagle seeks to inspire fellow Native Americans to pursue higher education - to heal themselves and their communities. She has also been chosen as a 2020 Bush Fellow and we're excited to meet her on today's program.

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

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.

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.

Political Junkies: Jan 22, 2020

Jan 22, 2020

In The Moment ... January 22, 2020 Show 738 Hour 1

A new poll looks at the approval rating of Governor Noem. A South Dakota lawmaker says consolidation in higher education might help bring down tuition rates. And a bill addressing transgender healthcare hears testimony in Pierre. The Dakota Political Junkies join us for a look at some of the state's top political headlines.  Jon Schaff is a professor of political science at Northern State University in Aberdeen. Jonathan Ellis is a reporter and columnist with Argus Leader Media.  

SDSU: Serving Native Students

Jan 15, 2020

In The Moment ... January 15, 2020 Show 734 Hour 1

President Trump recently signed the 2020 Ag Appropriations Bill, which includes a new provision for Native American students in higher education. The New Beginning for Tribal Students provision offers matching federal funds to land grant universities that dedicate resources to Native students. 

Dakota Wesleyan University

Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell is going global with its first international recruitment office in Nigeria.

Dakota Wesleyan is hoping to capitalize on partnerships with one of Africa’s fastest-growing countries.

Dakota Wesleyan has a long history of hosting international students. Dr. John Ifediora graduated from Dakota Wesleyan in 1979. After working as a professor in the University of Wisconsin System, he’s now on faculty at American University in D.C. He’s also leading Dakota Wesleyan’s first international recruitment office in his home country.


In The Moment ... November 26, 2018 Show 466 Hour 2

Teresa Stallings, Ph.D in Sociology will give her final lecture this Wednesday at the Williams Library Rotunda at noon on the campus of Northern State University in Aberdeen as she is retiring. The lecture is titled, "The Power of Unintended Consequences or How Do We Get Here from There." It's about the impact of social forces on shaping higher education

Heather Benson

In The Moment ... April 26, 2018 Show 324 Hour 2

Jackie Hendry is SDPB's healthcare and education reporter. She's been working on a monthlong series about international students in higher education in South Dakota.

Brett Bradfield Named USF President

Jan 31, 2017

After a seven month search the University of Sioux Falls announced Brett Bradfield as its 23rd president.


Bradfield has worked at the university for 16 years and in 2007 became the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Bradfield says he recognizes the challenges higher education institutes face but is hopeful the University of Sioux falls will stay strong into the future.

The scene was festive in the student commons. Students, faculty, staff and trustees mingled in anticipation of the announcement.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

University Sioux Falls officials say their school can fill a void left when a community college closed. USF is preparing to launch a program aimed at helping people learn English so they can go to college or become skilled workers. A program that used to help those students ended earlier this year. Now USF leaders say they’re resurrecting the opportunity.


Higher education leaders are working to get students on track for college-level courses without adding to their years in school. Not all students are prepared for college or tech programs after high school. Now educators are offering them opportunities to catch up while taking normal class loads.

Representatives from the Board of Regents and South Dakota’s technical institutes are talking to lawmakers about retaining students – especially when their skills are shy of normal requirements. State colleges and tech schools now have versions of co-remediation.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers from districts in and around Sioux Falls are previewing their priorities for the 2016 legislative session. Wednesday morning a couple hundred people attended an annual breakfast from the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce to hear what lawmakers anticipate in the coming weeks.


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. 

Augustana Changes Name To University

Sep 1, 2015
Erin Mairose

Augustana College in Sioux Falls is receiving a name change. The private liberal arts institution gathered Tuesday to officially unveil its new name as a university.

Augustana students wait in the Kirkeby-Over Stadium as professors file in and freshman take in their surroundings.

Alumni Carol Oakland says she is exciting her alma mater is expanding programs to become a university.

“I think it’s wonderful. It actually makes our degrees worth more- we are now university graduates,” says Oakland.

People from South Dakota are gearing up for the National Education Association’s annual meeting and assembly. This week a group of teachers, education supporters, students, and retired teachers travel to Orlando, Florida. They hope to gain insights from fellow educators from all over the country.

Leaders of the South Dakota Education Association say they fight for every single student to have the opportunity for strong, comprehensive education – both at the state level and nationally.


The President of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology had died.  School officials confirmed Robert Wharton’s death this morning (September 19, 2012).  South Dakota Board of Regents C-E-O Jack Warner says Wharton’s tenure brought the School of Mines into regional and national prominence.