Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Though South Dakota’s university system is small – with about 35,000 students in six colleges – the new requirements are sending shock waves through higher education. In March, the Chronicle of Higher Education framed them as a harbinger as lawmakers across the country "seek to set policy for public universities with an eye on reining in wayward politics.” Joan Wink, a member of South Dakota’s Board of Regents, said the legislature is trying to impose its own conservative ideology on campuses, telling the Chronicle that the law’s intellectual diversity mandates were “code speak” for hiring more “right-leaning, ideologically grounded” professors and administrators.
After it passed last year, four state legislators who sponsored it sent a letter to the board with suggestions on meeting the new “intellectual diversity” requirement. The letter urged the regents to “create hiring practices to ensure the composition of the faculty and administration reflects a broad range of ideological viewpoints." Among their recommendations were ongoing “surveys of the ideological viewpoints of the faculty, and the administrators with responsibility for the intellectual climate on campuses" in order to "measure progress toward intellectual diversity."
It is extremely cold in South Dakota I hear.