For Release October 1

South Dakota Universities Featured in National Higher Education Journal

PIERRE—South Dakota’s six public universities are featured in a recent issue of CAUSE/EFFECT, a national journal devoted to issues relating to management of information resources on college and university campuses. The journal is a publication of EDUCAUSE, the largest national organization of such information resource professionals.

"EDUCAUSE wanted to highlight South Dakota’s public universities because we are a leader nationally in coordinating and standardizing our information systems," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "Higher education in most other states does not operate as a system. Individual campuses maintain their own information processes. Therefore, supplying uniform information to the governing boards and policy makers is difficult at best and impossible in some instances. Here in South Dakota, through long-range planning the Board of Regents has created a uniform approach to information management. Technology underpins the whole regental system. Technology enables the Board to capture efficiencies," he added.

Ben Dar, Vice President for Technology at Black Hills State University, served as a consultant to the Board on technology earlier in 1998. Dar said, "The two broad issues for instructional technology are access and use. The infrastructure is the foundation for allowing access to the super-information highway."

Featured in the article is the Regents Information System, which coordinates systemwide computing resources for the public universities, including technology implementation and planning for both academic and administrative functions. Warren Wilson, Director of RIS, noted that without the wiring and hardware, the transfer of files and communication is not possible. "Network administration, or support, is necessary to enable effective use," he added.

Also emphasized in the article are moves by the Board of Regents to ensure quality and accountability through standardization of course numbering; uniform policies governing admissions and financial aid; redirection of portions of the base budgets toward more efficient use of resources to accomplish goals of the Board; and collaboration among the campuses to offer certain courses and majors.

The article also notes other collaborative efforts of the South Dakota higher education system. Among them are the South Dakota Library Network, one of the most unified library consortia in the nation, and the Great Plains Network, a consortium of six plains states that share resources through a high-speed computer network.

The article may be found on the Internet at

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