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Fall semester to look more like normal at state’s public universities

March 31, 2021

Students and parents can look forward to a return to more normal operations at South Dakota’s six public universities and two special schools, according to an announcement from the Board of Regents.

In a March 15 press release, the Board of Regents, which governs the state’s universities and schools, said the availability of the vaccines for those who work in education helped fuel the plan to return to more normal operations.

“Our goal is to return campus life this fall to a setting that looks much like it was before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brian L. Maher, executive director and CEO for the South Dakota Board of Regents. “With vaccines available now in higher education and K-12 settings, we can all look forward to more normal operations ahead.”

In the press release, Maher said South Dakota’s success in vaccine distribution, as well as local efforts to manage and keep positive infection rates low, will guide the universities’ and schools’ planning for the 2021 fall semester. Maher said administrators will continue to monitor circumstances as the pandemic evolves, making the best decisions possible with information available to them.

“For a year now, faced with a public health challenge none of us expected, our faculty, staff, and students responded, adapted, and did what they must to keep our campuses safe,” Maher said. “We have been open and operating, adjusting as necessary, and always guided by the desire to help students complete classes, finish degrees, and stay on track for graduation. Now we anticipate returning to some sense of normalcy in the weeks and months ahead.”

According to the release, fall semester planning is underway on all campuses, with additional details to be announced. Students and parents can also check the university and school websites for the latest information on campus operations.

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