For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 2, 2003
Regents Pleased with Gov. Rounds' Focus on Research,
PIERRE - Gov. Mike Rounds' strategic research initiative will give South Dakota's public universities new tools to become a more aggressive partner with the state and private sector in growing the state's economy, the South Dakota Board of Regents said.
The regents praised Gov. Rounds' budget proposal, unveiled Tuesday, which sets aside $3.7 million for a state-funded research infrastructure. The bulk of the funds-nearly $3 million-would help hire additional faculty members, pay for graduate assistants, and acquire needed laboratory equipment and space. "Successful research proposals begin with successful researchers, who must then deliver high-quality research products," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett. "The governor is recommending we hire another 20 faculty members who will spend at least half of their time on targeted research projects."
There is $600,000 in the governor's research proposal to provide partial state matching funds for South Dakota's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a federal program that builds research competitiveness in the university system. EPSCoR currently brings $3 million into the state annually for research projects.
Health care programs in the public university system also received attention in the governor's budget. In his base budget for next year, Gov. Rounds recommends about $410,000 to pay for the ongoing operation of a medical assessment office at the USD School of Medicine, and another $950,000 to produce more registered nurses in South Dakota. The governor also recommends a one-time $300,000 appropriation to cover the current year's operation of the medical assessment office.
"In order to maintain the medical school's accreditation, an office must assess and document the medical education each student receives," Jewett said. "Last year, we received a one-time special appropriation from the Legislature covering that year. However, it is clear we need a continued appropriation to fund this office and keep our medical school accredited. We appreciate the governor's support of this request."
Jewett said Gov. Rounds also has agreed to continue expanded nursing degree programs at South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota. In 2002, the Legislature authorized the temporary expansion of these programs to address a shortage of nurses in South Dakota. "Data indicate the need for more registered nurses in South Dakota will continue," Jewett said. "This request allows us to increase the number of nursing graduates by 96 at USD and 32 at SDSU each year," he said.
In his FY05 budget request, Gov. Rounds also recommended:
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