For Release May 07

Board of Regents Approves University Reinvestment Plans for Next Year

BROOKINGS—Today at its regular business meeting, held on the campus of South Dakota State University, the Board of Regents approved the fiscal year 1999 allocations to programs designed to make the universities operate more efficiently. The Reinvestments Through Efficiencies program, in its third year of operation, redirects university resources to achieve seven goals established by the Regents in 1996.

Regents President James O. Hansen said, "In 1995 the Legislature adopted resolutions that encouraged the Regents to develop a long-term plan to support efficiencies at all institutions that we control. Because of those resolutions, the Board directed the universities to identify resources, both financial and human, to be redirected to achieve goals that we thought were important to South Dakota." Hansen added that, since the program began in FY96, the universities have been reallocating approximately $10 million each year from other budget areas to these priorities.

Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry noted that, while the total amount that each university redirects to the Reinvestments program remains about the same each year, the universities have been given the flexibility to move the funds around among the seven goals. That is why, he added, the Board reviews the spending plans and approves the proposals.

"As progress is made toward a goal, the amount of money that the universities allocate to that goal can be reduced. For example, the universities all contributed to support the transition to the system enrollment services center and the new student information system. Costs associated with the transition are higher than what will be necessary for future operation. Once the center and information system are up and running, these resources will be freed up for redirection to other goals," said Perry.

The single largest allocation is to the operation of the nine Reinvestment centers of excellence. The objective of each center is to gain national or international recognition for excellence in education, research, and service in a particular field. The centers are:

In addition to allocations for investments to support the enrollment services center, the new student information system and the centers of excellence, other reinvestment goals include technology infrastructure, redesign of the curriculum, maintenance of equipment and compliance with facility regulations, economic development programs, and improved links and outreach to the elementary and secondary schools. Almost 40 percent of the Reinvestment resources are used to enhance technology at the universities.

"The Board of Regents takes very seriously actions of the Legislature. When legislators said that they wanted the higher education system to be more efficient, the Board listened. Legislators said they wanted higher education to provide access and opportunity, to serve as the research and development infrastructure, and to enhance services offered by other segments of the economy. The Reinvestments Through Efficiencies program does all of that. Over time, it will make a tremendous difference to South Dakota," said Perry.

The spending plans approved by the Board go into effect for the 1998-99 academic year. –

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