Task Force Recommends USD Law School Stay, President to Review Recommendation Next

VERMILLION, S.D.- The University of South Dakota Law School task force has recommended the state’s only law school remain in Vermillion but have the university offer classes and programs in Sioux Falls as well. That decision was made today after months of work to determine whether relocating the law school to Sioux Falls would help with enrollment and bar passage rates.

“The issue with the law school is not the location and the facility,” says Task Force Chair Representative, Mark Mickelson.

With a vote of 9 to 4 task force members have chosen to not relocate the school to Sioux Falls. Members instead say they need to focus on some of the lacking resources the law school is in need of.

“We determined the location of the law school isn’t the primary focus of improving the quality of the applicant pool. It comes down to broadening and modernizing our programming,” says Representative Mickelson.

Task force members also say although the school should stay in Vermillion, the university can look at offering classes and programs in Sioux Falls to better assist students. Task force members say getting more state funding will help in being able to accomplish these goals and create more scholarships for students. The law school’s former Associate Dean Tom Sorensen says the law school has been suffering for a long time due to a lack of resources and he’s glad the task force sees that too.

“Now the focus is here so let’s do it; I’m glad to hear they are going to focus on funding various things including scholarships,” says Sorensen.

The task force will now write their recommendation and give to the university’s president, who will decide what to do next. Overall many left the meeting happy with the decision

“Would not affect my decision in terms of leaving the law school, but I fully support their decision to keep it in Vermillion,” says USD Law School Second Year Student, Tucker Volesky.

The task force says the law school needs at least another 600-thousand dollars in funding from the state.

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