Armed with information about long-term demographic shifts taking place in South Dakota, the Board of Regents initiated a discussion in March 2002 about South Dakota 's future educational opportunities. Linked to ever-present conversations about maximizing resource investments in state services, including higher education and the special schools, along with questions about how South Dakota would respond to changes in the national and international economy, this dialogue became an opportunity to think more about where we are and where we might go. At the Regents' direction, the Executive Director was tasked with preparing a report on South Dakota Opportunities.
- There will be a reduction of traditional college-age population in the decades ahead.
- There will be a slight increase in non-traditional students in the decades ahead.
- There will be significant growth in the population of the Sioux Falls area.
- There will be a significant increase in South Dakota’s older populations.
Assumptions and Guiding Principles:
- The Legislature establishes postsecondary institutions in South Dakota.
- All existing universities will remain and serve primarily traditional-age college students, however, they may consolidate services and positions where practical and economical.
- Non-traditional age students will continue to grow as a percentage of the population served by the universities.
- The regental system must continue to maximize the use of available funding.
- The universities will make stronger and more focused connections to the state’s economy.
Vision for South Dakota:
- South Dakota will have a population that reflects the synergy of an educated populace.
- South Dakota will have a growing working-age population with the education needed to support a growing knowledge-based economy.
- South Dakota will increasingly benefit from a significant increase in research and development.
- South Dakota will be a national leader in the use of information technology.
Policy Goals for the System of Public Higher Education:
- Access: Every qualified South Dakotan shall have access to public postsecondary education.
- Quality: South Dakota public universities and special schools shall provide a quality educational experience.
- State Wealth: South Dakota public universities shall engage in activities designed to enhance the state’s long-term economy.
- Efficiencies: South Dakota public universities and special schools shall continue to seek means for improving efficiency in the delivery of educational services.