About The Board of Regents

Learning drives us forward, helping us innovate, grow and thrive. In South Dakota, the Board of Regents’ primary goal is to provide high-quality educational opportunities and services to the people of South Dakota to keep our state moving forward.

Our system is made up of eight educational institutions:

Black Hills State University (BHSU) is a regional comprehensive university serving its geographic region’s educational and programming needs.  BHSU offers a large number of undergraduate degrees and limited graduate-level programs, as is typical with regional universities. Black Hills State University provides degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, business, and technology. The BHSU Center for American Indian Studies offers opportunities to research and study the history, culture, and language of the Indians of North America and South Dakota.

Dakota State University (DSU) is a special focus university with a high concentration of degrees in STEM fields. DSU offers undergraduate and graduate
programs within its focus area and maintains a research commitment within the principal areas of study.

The primary purpose of DSU is to provide instruction in STEM fields, such as computer management, computer information technologies, cyber security, education with an emphasis in computer and technology systems, and related undergraduate and graduate degrees. The secondary objective is to offer two-year, one-year, and short courses for application and operator training.

DSU’s emerging research is propelling the workforce, economy, and student experience. The university is committed to supporting and conducting research in areas of current, emerging, and future computing and information technologies. Their actions in cyber security will protect and advance our state and country.

Northern State University (NSU) is a regional comprehensive university serving its geographic region’s educational and programming needs. NSU offers graduate and undergraduate programs, promotes excellence in teaching, supports research and creative activities; while providing service to the state of South Dakota, the region, and the nation.

While located in Aberdeen, the university specializes in HyFlex delivery of university curriculum and services. Northern also houses the Center for Statewide E-learning, providing equitable access to quality secondary education content courses for students across the state of South Dakota—in many locations where teacher shortages preclude adequate content delivery. Northern serves the public good as a vibrant hub for education and entrepreneurship, workforce and economic development, arts and culture, health and wellness, athletics, and community engagement.

South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science, and technology universities. Mines develops world-class leaders in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Its purpose is to educate scientists and engineers who address global challenges, innovate others to reach their creative potential and engage in partnerships to transform society.

Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. For these reasons, South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. The university has a 97% student placement rate within their field of study in industry or graduate school, including medical school.

South Dakota State University  (SDSU) is a research university offering various undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, including abundant research opportunities.  SDSU’s basic and applied research and creative scholarly activities support a vibrant South Dakota economy, including analytical support state and regional economic development initiatives.

Located in Brookings, SDSU is designated as South Dakota’s Land-grant University and is challenged to drive real solutions to dynamic challenges through research-based discovery and innovation. SDSU’s fundamental assets for fulfilling its land-grant research mission are stable, talented faculty and modern, reliable facilities and specialized equipment.

SDSU provides undergraduate and graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences and professional education in agriculture, education, engineering, home economics, nursing, and pharmacy.

The University of South Dakota (USD) is a research university offering various undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, including abundant research opportunities. USD’s basic and applied research and creative scholarly activities support a vibrant South Dakota economy, including analytical support for state and regional economic development initiatives.

The University of South Dakota’s main campus in Vermillion is the state’s oldest postsecondary institution and serves as the flagship of the state university system. The campus includes the College of Arts & Sciences, Beacom School of Business, School of Health Sciences, School of Education, College of Fine Arts, Knudson School of Law, and the Sanford School of Medicine.

USD is the only university in South Dakota to offer professional degree programs in law, audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, and medicine.

South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a k-12 accredited school by the South Dakota Department of Education that supports children with vision loss to access educational resources to prepare them for life. Established over a century ago, the school has a long-proven commitment to
developing and using the best instructional practices and accommodations to educate students (up to age 21) who are blind and visually impaired. Students, public schools, and families across the state rely on SDSBVI to introduce new technologies, share curriculum developments, and train others on relevant teaching methods.

SDSBVI outreach vision consultants serve children with vision loss, parents, and teachers across South Dakota. Consultants provide on-site technical assistance, educational material, and individualized educational planning to public schools and in the homes of families with young children.

South Dakota Services for the Deaf (SDSD) was established in 1880 and continues to provide educational and support services to students who are deaf and hard of hearing. SDSD’s mission is to be a partner in educational success for children from birth through high school graduation (or up to age 21). SDSD serves as a resource by providing informed, evidence-based consultation to families, schools, and educational teams statewide, including both screening and diagnostic audiology services, multidisciplinary evaluations, and direct services.

SDSD’s current focus is statewide outreach programs supporting students, parents, and educators in school and home environments. In 2009, SDSD shifted to an all Outreach Program for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, expanding educational support services to public and private schools and daycares for South Dakota students, families, and educators. In addition to outreach, SDSD provides onsite clinical services in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

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Our Mission

The South Dakota Board of Regents has constitutional authority to govern the system of public higher education in the State of South Dakota. We are supported by an Executive Director and staff that provide leadership and sets policies for the programs and services delivered through its six universities and special schools.

Our Staff

Each of our departments is staffed with people dedicated to South Dakota’s citizens, from academics to government relations.

Nathan Lukkes Headshot

Nathan Lukkes

Executive Director

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Liza Clark

Chief of Staff

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Janice Minder

System Vice President for Academic Policy and Planning

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Heather Forney

System Vice President of Finance and Administration

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Holly Farris

General Counsel

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Kayla Bastian

Chief Human Resources Officer

Shuree Mortenson Headshot

Shuree Mortenson

Director of Communications

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