News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst
T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320

 For Immediate Release 25 June 1999

Board of Regents Approves Building Agreement with Sioux Falls School Board
Center for Public Higher Education to Get New Home

SIOUX FALLS—The South Dakota Board of Regents took a major step in bringing quality public higher education to South Dakota’s largest city today by approving an agreement with the Sioux Falls School Board to share a single building to be constructed at the site of Southeast Technical Institute. The Board of Regents, at its regular business meeting on the campus of the South Dakota School for the Deaf, approved a six-point agreement to lease a facility to house the Center for Public Higher Education (CPHE). The CPHE, currently located in the Bergeland Center in downtown Sioux Falls, will share facilities located on the campus of Southeast Technical Institute (SETI).

"The Regents believe that the most convenient place to build a permanent home for the Center for Public Higher Education is at Southeast Technical Institute," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, IV.

In addition to agreeing to share a single building, the Board of Regents and the Sioux Falls School Board agree that the missions of the technical institute and the universities will remain unchanged, that the articulation process approved in 1998 will govern the transfer of courses between SETI and the regental institutions, and that the school board and the Regents will jointly review future associate degrees that may be needed to meet the needs of the Sioux Falls workforce.

"The Sioux Falls’ economy is growing rapidly. Employers look at education opportunities when they consider locating a new business or expanding an existing one. Employees look for continuing educational opportunities as they plan their own career development. The Board of Regents has an obligation to serve Sioux Falls. This agreement will allow us to offer university courses in a modern, safe, and up-to-date building," said Jewett. "Our purpose is to provide public higher education to Sioux Falls residents. We think our purpose is compatible with the Sioux Falls School Board’s purpose in operating SETI. We look forward to a good working relationship with them."

"The agreement approved today is an effort in collaboration to serve the people of Sioux Falls, both in facilities and academic programs," added Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. The University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, and Dakota State University offer courses through the CPHE. Although all were teaching courses in Sioux Falls for many years, in 1992 the Board of Regents formally organized the Center for Public Higher Education.

Perry said, "The typical CPHE student is a working adult with family. This person is place-bound and cannot move to one of the university cities. Surveys of CPHE students tell us that if the Center were not available, most of these students would not pursue their education, because they do not have the time to drive to one of the public universities. Public higher education is more affordable to them, as well. The Regents are filling a need in the area market."

The CPHE has held classes in up to 18 different sites including public schools, the USD Medical School, and SETI. "Because of this agreement, we will be able to hold all classes in one location," said Dr. Judy Nissen, Director of the CPHE. "Many of our classes are offered in the evening, when employed students have more time. Because they have often had to drive to different locations around the city, their class choices have been curtailed. Students will find that they have more scheduling options, just by being in one location."

The agreement with the Sioux Falls School Board will not affect the USD Medical School.

For more information, contact: Robert T. Tad Perry, Board of Regents, (605) 773-3455.


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