Changes for two large universities keeps Student Federation together
South Dakota's two largest public universities will continue as members in the Student Federation, its executive director said Wednesday. Student governments at South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota in the past year con...
South Dakota's two largest public universities will continue as members in the Student Federation, its executive director said Wednesday.
Student governments at South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota in the past year considered withdrawing.
Student representatives from the six public universities met for more than two hours Tuesday night and reached agreement on significant changes, according to Robert McLean, the federation's executive director.
McLean reported the results to the state Board of Regents during the board's meeting Wednesday afternoon at Northern State University in Aberdeen.
He said the federation wouldn't have an assistant director during the next term. Instead there would be a chairman chosen from the federation's governing board.
Under that change, the executive director would become responsible for external communications while the chairman would be responsible for internal communications, McLean said.
The federation won't have a travel amount in its budget in the future. He said the university where the executive director is a student would cover that person's travel costs. McLean attends SDSU.
McLean said changes are still being negotiated regarding the amounts paid from each university for the federation's operation. He said the model under discussion is a flat fee with a ceiling, rather than basing the amount on enrollment.
"That amount hasn't been determined yet," he said.
There also is a change on how the federation reaches public positions on issues. McLean said the new process calls for a consensus among the six campuses and the federation would lobby only on matters that receive unanimous agreement.
If there isn't agreement, universities could take individual public positions and the federation would stay neutral.
The consensus approach comes after a split during the past year when the federation publicly supported a tuition freeze even though the University of South Dakota objected.
Regent John Bastian of Belle Fourche praised the compromises and the overall result.
"Well done, and thank you," Bastian told McLean. "I was a little concerned going into this week the things I was hearing about the federation."