For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Regents Receive “South Dakota Opportunities” Report
ABERDEEN – Prompted by demographic data showing that South Dakota will produce 28 percent fewer high school graduates by 2010, while there will be significant growth in the Sioux Falls area and among the state’s older populations, the South Dakota Board of Regents received a report Wednesday focusing education policy discussions on the future.
“We see this report as the vehicle to highlight priorities that public higher education and the special schools have a stake in,” said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett. “The ideas being presented may ultimately make a difference in long-term policy and actions.”
The report contains 14 ideas framed as “opportunities,” followed by specific “next steps” that policymakers might wish to pursue. The ideas range from beefing up research activities at the public universities to creating a consortium to manage interaction between health care degree programs and private health care providers. Other suggestions are aimed at higher education program delivery in Sioux Falls and the Black Hills region and improving mathematics education. One idea calls for better connecting education policies through a twice-yearly forum for South Dakota education leaders at all levels.
The South Dakota Opportunities report stresses goals of:
· Expanding access to the South Dakota public higher education system,
· Improving the quality of the state’s public universities and two special schools,
· Engaging state universities in more research and development activities to enhance South Dakota’s long-term economy, and
· Finding greater efficiencies in the delivery of educational services by the public universities and special schools.
The Regents’ executive director, Robert T. Tad Perry, compiled the report, based on extensive conversations over the past year within the Regents’ higher education system, as well as with alumni, university foundations, chamber and business groups, agriculture interests, the K-12 education community, and private business, including the medical field.
Perry told the Regents he did not expect them to endorse or approve the ideas contained within the report. “South Dakota Opportunities is a tool to continue the review and development of ideas,” he said. “Hopefully, it will offer focus to the discussions on where we might go from here.”
The full text of the Report on South Dakota Opportunities is available at www.sdbor.edu/publication/SDOpportunities.pdf.
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