PIERRE, S.D. – Recognizing rapidly evolving changes in the higher education landscape, the South Dakota Board of Regents (BOR) is taking steps to ensure the state’s public universities continue to capitalize on enrollment opportunities and supply the workforce of tomorrow.

“We have a strong public university system in South Dakota, but there are challenges on the horizon for higher education nationally, and we want to make sure our system is proactive in maintaining its competitive advantage,” said BOR Executive Director Nathan Lukkes. “We need to do our diligence to make certain we continue to provide students with an exceptional education at a competitive cost.”

This week, the BOR system requested the development of a strategic framework to identify future opportunities and vulnerabilities of its six universities. The report will identify potential methods to manage and analyze South Dakota’s public universities’ financial and programmatic sustainability, ensuring continued institutional health in the years to come.

The partnering organization will thoroughly understand current higher education trends and provide detailed analysis and enrollment forecasting by college, department, and program level to optimize future operations of the six BOR institutions. Each BOR university has unique goals and specializations, and this analysis will help capitalize on those characteristics and provide direction to inform the management of each campus and implementation of strategic programming plans.

“In South Dakota, we have six vibrant universities,” said BOR President Tim Rave. “Each campus is doing incredible work that directly influences our state’s economy. With the information we receive from this study, we can further tailor those efforts and create a dynamic and lasting impact.”

This effort comes in continuation of efficiency actions like the BOR Strategic Plan and the 2019 Legislative Senate Bill 55 Taskforce. Once complete, the comprehensive report will summarize the results with clear and actionable recommendations for South Dakota’s public university system. These measures will focus on improving the financial resilience of the public university system and offering continuing opportunities for students.