The South Dakota Board of Regents hereby states that:
South Dakota’s state universities offer opportunity for all students, to benefit from education and to prepare to live and work in South Dakota, or anywhere in the world. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, veteran status, economic status, or sexual preference. We treat each person as an individual, not as a member of a group, and offer services and supports for each person’s individual situation. We reject, and will not promote, the idea that any individual person is responsible for actions taken by other people. We also reject, and will not promote, any suggestion that one group of people is inherently superior or inferior to another group, or is inherently oppressive or immoral.
South Dakota’s state universities are public, taxpayer-funded institutions. It is inherent in the missions of our universities to proudly support the United States of America. Our students will learn about America’s history, our system of individual liberty in a democratic republic, and our system of free enterprise. Part of that instruction is to acknowledge and discuss America’s flaws and mistakes, so that we can learn from them and improve. We celebrate, though, America’s role in recent world history, as the nation most responsible for expanding liberty, prosperity, and equality across the globe.
South Dakota’s state universities are a part of the rich tradition of American universities, which are built upon free speech, scientific discovery, and academic freedom, and for that reason have been emulated by the rest of the world. We commit our state universities to a focus on the future: preparing the leaders and scholars of the next generation to solve the problems of tomorrow. Although we can learn from and understand the past, we do this so we can learn to be better in the future, and we will never compel any person to accept any particular set of beliefs.
South Dakota’s state universities will offer a curriculum that is based upon widely-held and accepted knowledge and thought. Our universities will respect academic freedom, and will expect faculty to exercise that freedom in a way that respects this expectation. As our students expand their understanding in a field of study, we encourage that students be exposed to a variety of viewpoints, ideas, and theories, so that they can be debated and critiqued. This could include discredited or controversial ideas, because understanding the weaknesses of failed ideas is as important as understanding the strengths of successful ones. Students must be prepared to identify the good and bad in new or controversial areas of thought.
(Adopted August 5, 2021)