Policies and Agreements

The Board of Regents consists of nine voting regents who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the South Dakota Senate. The Board recognizes its constitutional responsibility to manage each institution within our state’s public higher education system. We must follow these policies and agreements to continuously improve education in South Dakota.

The Board’s Purpose

The mission of the public university and special school system in South Dakota encompasses the three traditional American education functions—instruction, research, and public service. This system must strive for excellence in all three areas. Under South Dakota’s Constitution, the governance and control of the system is vested in the Board of Regents.

Commonly Referenced Policies

Members and Officers

The Board is made up of nine voting members and shall elect a President, Vice President and Secretary for a one-year term each year. No two regents may be residents in the same county and no more than six shall be members of the same political party. Terms of each regent, except the student regent, shall be six years with terms expiring the last day of March.


The Board and its Institutions recognize that Student-Athletes are entitled to commercial use of their NIL in conformity with the provided governing provisions. Student-Athletes may externally promote their own business; promote a corporate entity; establish their own professional-sports-service such as a camp or clinic; make appearances and receive compensation; and more.

Minors on Campus

Non-Student Minors are generally permitted in University Facilities only as invitees, participants, or visitors, and must be under the supervision of an Authorized Adult. If unable to comply with BOR and/or university policies, the Non-Student Minor may be immediately removed from University Facilities.

Recognition and Funding of Student Organizations

Each institution will develop and publish criteria for recognition of student organizations. These criteria will require organizations to operate under a formal set of articles that define the organizations powers, and how they may be exercised. No rules or criteria may discriminate against any student or student organization based on content or viewpoint of their expressive activity.

Board of Regents Opportunity Statement​​​​​​​

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)​