SDBOR institutions to reopen in time for fall semester


Staff Report

PIERRE — South Dakota Board of Regents schools will resume on-campus operations and face-to-face instruction for the fall 2020 term, according to a May 1 press release from the SDBOR.

“The COVID-19 pandemic dictated an unprecedented change this spring in the way we teach, learn, and work, requiring faculty, students, and staff to adapt in extraordinary ways,” a statement from Regents President John W. Bastian read in the release. “While our institutions will successfully complete the spring and summer semesters, under conditions that none of us could anticipate, we all must turn attention to a new academic year beginning this fall.”

The SDBOR announced the transition to online instruction for the spring 2020 semester on March 24, and followed up with an April 6 announcement that all summer 2020 instruction would also be online only.

Per the release, “school administrators must be prepared to react quickly to an evolving public health challenge … each campus has the authority to adjust certain operational details for their institution, academic programs, and community circumstances.”

Few specifics are available at this time, with the only guiding principles for the higher education decision-makers across the state being described as “safety, science and the institutions’ educational mission, with a priority to balance the significant value of on-campus teaching and learning with an equal responsibility to protect community health and safety.”

The SDBOR oversees South Dakota State University, Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, University of South Dakota, South Dakota School for the Blind & Visually Impaired and South Dakota School for the Deaf.

The full release can be found here.