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Higher Education Task Force Meets Thursday at USD

News Release

Contacts: Janelle Toman, Director of Communications


Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst



Telephone: (605) 773-3455

Fax: (605) 773-5320






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, November 9, 2020


Higher Education Task Force Meets Thursday at USD


VERMILLION, S.D. – A task force meets in Vermillion this week to look at the return on investment from higher education. The Senate Bill 55 Task Force will meet Thursday on the campus of the University of South Dakota.


It is the second meeting for the 20 members of the task force, which is studying the operations and functions of higher education institutions governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. The task force was created after state lawmakers passed legislation in the 2020 session directing the study. Findings are to be reported to the Legislature and Gov. Kristi Noem no later than Nov. 15, 2021.


The group will hear Thursday from Teresa Lubbers, Indiana’s commissioner for higher education. A former state senator, Lubbers has led the higher education coordinating agency in Indiana since 2009. Her focus has been on initiatives to increase college completion, ensure academic quality, and align postsecondary credentials with meaningful careers.


Former USD President Jim Abbott and former Regent Harvey Jewett will also share perspectives on how public universities contribute to South Dakota’s quality of life, workforce, and economic development. A 2016 study showed South Dakota public universities generate about $2.66 billion of annual economic impact to South Dakota from a state investment at that time of $197 million.


The Senate Bill 55 Task Force convenes Thursday, Nov. 12, beginning at 8:30 a.m. (CST), in the ballroom of the Muenster University Center on the USD campus. The public is invited to attend or to access the livestream link through the Board of Regents’ website.


The task force agenda is linked here.