Surely the South Dakota Board of Regents will spend some time at this week's meeting in Aberdeen discussing the suddenly prominent and politically potent Darley v. SDIBI litigation. But that discussion would be tucked away in the executive sessions on this week's agenda.
Not tucked away are the numerous information items the Regents will discuss, including...
1. The FY2014 Distance Education Report! Did you know that 22,533 students took 162,812 credit hours through distance courses during the last school year? SDSU and USD each claim about a third of those students; 8.1% of those distance learners were enrolled at DSU. SDSU and USD together also offer about two thirds of all distance-learning course sections, while BHSU offers almost as many as DSU, around 14%.
2. Earnings of Liberal Arts Majors! Yes, we're poor. Always will be. And won't care, because we are saving the world for wisdom and beauty.
3. Graduate Production in SDWINS Targeted Fields! The Regents tout their ability to respond to the market by cranking out the degrees that Governor Daugaard says the market wants.
Notice that of the six categories identified as high-need areas for economic development, the Regents have seen increased interest in all but one: teaching. The number of Regental graduates in education has evidently dropped 14% under the Daugaard regime.
4. The SDBOR Strategic Plan! Expect discussion to revolve around just one goal out of the 20 for 2020 listed: by 2020, the Regents want to see the state's share of higher education funding rise from the current 37% to 50%. That's a pretty heavy lift; all you Republican appointees had better go home and help elect more Democrats!
Surely the Regents will want to focus their energies on those pressing educational issues and more and not be distracting by all the blame GOP Senate candidate Mike Rounds is trying to heap on them for the EB-5 mess. Perhaps the Regents should simply release all those yummy documents they have about EB-5 and let us sort through the evidence while they focus on running the universities.