In coordination with Gov. Kristi Noem’s Executive Order, the South Dakota Board of Regents with input from the six state universities has announced that all South Dakota public universities will continue online teaching through the end of spring semester. Originally online classes were scheduled for two weeks; however, given the increasing number of coronavirus cases, online classes will continue through the end of the spring semester.
In addition, May commencement will be postponed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was a difficult decision for all of us, and I know it creates numerous difficulties for our graduating students and their families,” Black Hills State University President Laurie S. Nichols said. “But this step is necessary to minimize the further spread of this virus for the health and safety of BHSU students and the surrounding community.”
She noted that the May commencement will be combined with the Fall commencement set for Dec. 12, 2020. Those who were planning to participate in the May commencement ceremony will be invited to participate in the December ceremony.
Over the next two weeks, BHSU will work with students in residence halls to facilitate a move-out process that allows for appropriate social distancing, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students may set up appointments to move out seven days a week, with hours ranging from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. See details of move-out. For those students who need to stay in the residence hall through the end of the semester, they will be allowed to do so.
Procedures for partial refunds for select students have been posted. The refunds cover partial reimbursement for housing, meal plans and parking. BHSU will issue the refunds according to the guidelines. If you have questions, call 605-642-6562.
Nichols added that BHSU is urging all students and community members to continue to practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible.
“As the virus spreads, it’s vital that we all stay home and reduce our coronavirus footprint,” Nichols said. “Your actions today will impact our whole community. I know you are tired of hearing it, but we must double down on our social distancing knowing that this is a temporary situation. We all look forward to the future when we regain some normalcy. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”