Bored of Regents

by Tiberius Gracchus on December 8, 2013

A press release from the South Dakota Board of Regents on Thursday, December 5th announced a completed study and now predicts a shortage of home grown college graduates to meet a projected demand from the state job market over the next two decades. I should choke on a hotdog while watching a football game at the new football stadium in Brookings, planned by the endlessly cash-strapped Board of Regents, when they use this study as a precursor for requesting additional funds to educate potential in-state pupils. The idea that more South Dakota graduates are needed to meet upcoming labor demands is an unconnected argument at best, and far more likely to be a biased political ploy by the Board of Regents to secure a larger portion of the state budget.

As an employer I know that if I offer adequate compensation the potential employees will apply. Unlike the illogical members of the Board of Regents I also know that if new businesses locate in South Dakota then the local higher education institutions will offer programs that are attractive for potential students that may desire to apply for a job at those new businesses. However, the Board of Regents in its perverse wisdom will probably suggest additional funds to educate blindly for unknown jobs, that have not been produced, at businesses that don’t yet exist based on this press release.

No real deterrent exists for a company in finding a skilled workforce if the need arises. Migration to our state will occur if jobs with reasonable compensation, through salary and benefits, are offered. We have a competitive edge over many other states through our reasonable state tax system that attract both businesses wishing to setup on South Dakota soil and also potential out-of-state job seekers considering relocating to our state. The Board of Regents despairingly imagines a South Dakota with so many skilled job offerings that South Dakota’s educational system can’t keep up with the demand for candidates through our state graduation rates.

The availability of several higher education institutions in South Dakota is a more valid talking point than the factory production of graduates, no different than the presence of adequate police protection being more valid than the number of speeding tickets issued as a measure of performance. With six universities and colleges, complemented by numerous private educational entities, we have more than adequate educational opportunity especially considering our small population when compared to the rest of the nation.

The Board of Regents suggests a strange requirement that all jobs developed in South Dakota should be filled by current South Dakota school children. That requirement is unnecessary if your goal is simply that South Dakota should continue to be financially stable and her people prosperous. A college graduate will always seek out opportunity that best fits his or her purposes and attempting to keep them captive is a fool’s errand. In conclusion, this embarrassing study should be torn up and thrown on the heap of misguided and disingenuous intellectual garbage commonly produced by ever short-funded and overpaid government boards.

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