Last year, Representative Mark Kirkeby (R-35/Rapid City) floated the idea of closing a South Dakota university campus. This year he's serious: we have a bill! Hot off the presses, House Bill 1298:
Notice HB 1298 does not call for actually closing a campus. It just calls on the Board of Regents to come up with a plan for doing so. If the bill passes, expect the Regents to work up a Part 3 that will scare the pants off any legislators who would think of doing such damage to Spearfish, Aberdeen, or Madison (does anyone think any other campus could make the chop list?).
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to require the Board of Regents to prepare a plan to close one of the postsecondary educational institutions under its control.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. The Board of Regents shall prepare a plan providing for the closure of one of the postsecondary educational institutions under its control, and shall present that plan to the Governor and to the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council no later than November 15, 2009. The plan shall include:
- The institution targeted for closure, the rationale behind the decision to close that particular institution, and the timelines necessary to carry out the closure;
- An analysis of how the unique academic programs currently offered at that institution might be divided among the remaining postsecondary educational institutions;
- An analysis of the economic impact the closure would have on the city or geographic region where the institution is located; and
- Strategies the Board of Regents will undertake to encourage current students at that institution to remain in South Dakota to complete their higher education.