Leaving rally behind, regents gather instead at Pierre centerPIERRE — Capital University Center plays host this week for the first time to the annual planning meeting for South Dakota’s public universities.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — Capital University Center plays host this week for the first time to the annual planning meeting for South Dakota’s public universities.
In recent years, the state Board of Regents had held the three-day session at Black Hills State University in Spearfish.
The August meeting somehow routinely coincided with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally just 20 minutes away.
The regents, whose members govern the state university system, and administrators sometimes spent their after-hours times engaged in sight-seeing and other activities amid the crowds, noise, music and partying.
The Sturgis scene often pushed far past a typical college-campus community, even on the liveliest homecoming weekend.
Before BHSU became the hub, the regents for some years held the planning retreat at a private ranch just over the border in Wyoming.
The move this summer away from the Black Hills and to the center of South Dakota instead reflects a renewed seriousness for the board, as the members try to rebuild their funding base after various cuts and freezes by the Legislature during the past decade.
Capital University Center opened just three years ago in August. It is one of three university center campuses — the others are in Sioux Falls and Rapid City — that were commissioned during the previous era of former regents’ executive director Tad Perry prior to his retirement.