The South Dakota Board of Regents' system is made up of eight institutions, including six public universities and two schools serving special K-12 populations: the deaf and the blind/visually impaired.
The first Board of Regents in present-day South Dakota was created in 1862 for the territorial university in Vermillion. A second and separate board was named in 1881 for the College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts at Brookings. There were separate boards for the state normal schools at Madison, Spearfish, and Springfield, and the School of Mines in Rapid City. These boards worked with groups of trustees, one for each institution.
A single board of regents for all state institutions of higher education was organized by the 1890 South Dakota Legislature. The present form of constitutional governance first became effective in 1897.