Regents Look To State Colleges To Retool Diversity Centers

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Board of Regents says nothing but mandating curriculum is off the table when it comes to retooling diversity centers at state colleges.

The regents' general counsel, Nathan Lukkes, addressed questions from the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee.

The main goal of the Regents’ initiative is to rethink how the system addresses student success, Lukkes told committee members Wednesday.

“I want to be very clear in saying that we’re not talking about ignoring student success or doing a disservice to the needs of various students that we have coming in, but rather that we’re going to approach things more holistically, look at every student as an individual, and address the individual needs or challenges of the student and not make assumptions or categorize based on generalities or membership in a particular class or group,” Lukkes said.

Schools have until the board's October meeting to figure out a plan to implement the ‘Opportunity for All’ initiative.

The Board of Regents will have significant oversight over the so-called Opportunity Centers, and regular reporting measures will be stripped so Opportunity Center leaders can communicate directly with their college president and the Regents themselves, the Rapid City Journal reported.

“I promise, the members of the Board of Regents are very interested in how this evolves. My biggest point is we’ve taken some reporting levels out as to how this all gets unfolded going forward. I think that will make the biggest difference,” Regents’ Executive Director Brian Maher said.