- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) - The Board of Regents has authorized the rebranding of a university center in Rapid City, established a new policy for drones and approved resident tuition for out-of-state students who attend the South Dakota public university where one of their parents received a degree.

The board met Wednesday at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.


Freshmen or transfer students from out of state who decide to attend the South Dakota university that one of their parents graduated from will now be eligible for in-state tuition and fees. System Vice President of Finance and Administration Monte Kramer said the in-state tuition proposal will help attract students to South Dakota. A report to the board says the move could also help make donors and alumni happy.

Students would be required to meet certain initial criteria and then meet ongoing standards to keep the in-state tuition rate depending on the institution they attend. Kramer said allowing children of alumni to attend a public South Dakota university of their choice would make it apply to too many incoming students.


Regents General Counsel Jim Shekleton said drones are an area where technology has outstripped regulations. He said that unmanned aerial vehicles have the potential to be both a nuisance and an asset.

The new Regents policy establishes administrative requirements for universities that want to use drones and imposes limitations on where and when private users can fly them. An operator would have to fly the drone during daylight and away from buildings, people and animals. The drone would also have to remain in the pilot’s field of vision and wouldn’t be allowed near sports stadiums.

“You don’t buzz the buildings, you don’t buzz the people and you don’t buzz the cows,” Shekleton said.

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology President Heather Wilson said the school has conducted research into drones for years. Other South Dakota universities have expressed interest in the technology.


The Regents approved a proposal to rebrand a satellite center in Rapid City as a campus of Black Hills State University. The institution is currently known as University Center-Rapid City and is a partnership among South Dakota’s six public universities.

Black Hills State University President Tom Jackson said rebranding the center as Black Hills State University-Rapid City will help it compete with other higher education institutions in Rapid City such as the city’s technical institute.

Jackson said the approval “makes us the major player in Rapid City.”

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