Equal Opportunity and Title ix

In accordance with the South Dakota Board of Regents Policy 1:19, the institutions under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents shall offer equal opportunities in employment and for access to and participation in educational, extension and other institutional services to all persons qualified by academic preparation, experience and ability for the various levels of employment or academic program or other institutional service, without discrimination based on sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination.  

The Board reaffirms its commitment to the objectives of equal opportunity and non-discrimination in accordance with the state and federal law.  Redress for alleged violations of those laws may be pursued at law or through the procedures established by the provisions of 1:18 of this policy.

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Title IX

Title IX of the U.S Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Discrimination based on sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status or on any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination is likewise prohibited.

Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can also include sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking and sexual coercion.

*The university will strive to keep all reported information confidential; however, it may not be able to guarantee such a request if in doing so may potentially jeopardize the safety of the campus community or if other legitimate reasons may necessitate such disclosure.


The University of South Dakota is dedicated to fostering an environment that respects the rights of all individuals and values the promotion of both work and educational environments free of gender bias. In accordance with federal and state laws and the policies of the South Dakota Board of Regents, the university takes an active role in addressing sexual violence both on- and off-campus. This approach includes but is not limited to: the offering of effective programming designed to help prevent sexual assault, the prompt and efficient investigation of all reported incidents, and the providing of resources and services as well as any other reasonable assistance requested under Title IX.

At USD, the University Title IX Coordinator serves as the point of contact for those seeking information or wanting to report violations of human rights, acts of discrimination/harassment, sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking and other forms of sexual misconduct. If you have been subject to any type of sexual misconduct or would like more information on how the university can assist you, contact the Title IX Coordinator

File a Report

Any person who either files a complaint or is a witness and or involved in any stage of the investigative process will not be subject to harassment, interference, intimidation or retaliation.

Title IX: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance - Title 20 U.S.C. section 1681


The University of South Dakota is committed to providing equal opportunity without discrimination based on sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to contact our office with questions and concerns relating to equal opportunity issues on campus.

South Dakota Board of Regents Policies

The South Dakota Board of Regents provides policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment, which can be found below.

Confidential Local Providers

Student Counseling Center
Dakota/East Hall
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 605-658-3580
Email: ssc@usd.edu

Or for emergencies or crisis situations, please dial 911 for off-campus assistance, 9-911 for on-campus assistance.

Safe Option Services

Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 605-624-5311 (24/7)
Website: www.facebook.com/dvsafeoptions

Confidential State Resources

South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
Phone: 1-800-430-7233
Website: www.sdcedsv.org

Safe Harbor
Phone: 1-888-290-2935
Website: safeharborsd.org

Confidential National Resources

RAINN - Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
Phone: 1-800-656-4673
Secure online private chat: ohl.rainn.org/online

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Phone: 1-800-799-7233
TTY: 1-800-787-3224
Website: www.thehotline.org

National Dating Abuse Helpline
Phone: 1-866-331-9474
TTY: 1-866-331-8453
Website: www.loveisrespect.org

The National Stalking Resource Center
Stalking Hotline: 1-800-394-2255
Website: www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center

The Trevor Project Helpline
Phone: 1-866-488-7386
Website: www.thetrevorproject.org

Non-Confidential Resources

Student Services - Office of the Dean of Students
Muenster University Center
Phone: 605-658-3555
Email: deanofstudents@usd.edu

Title IX Office/Equal Opportunity
Slagle Hall Room 205
Phone: 605-658-3665
Email: Jean.Merkle@usd.edu

University Police Department
Davidson Building
Phone: 605-658-6199
Email: universitypolice@usd.edu

Psychological Services Center
South Dakota Union, Room 112
Phone: 605-658-3720
Email: psc@usd.edu

Counseling and School Psychological Services Center
Delzell Education Center, Room 20
Phone: 605-658-6623
Email: cspcs@usd.edu

Latitude Employee Assistance Program (LEAP)
Phone: 800-713-6288
Website: benefits.sd.gov/LEAP.aspx

Off-Campus Resources and Reporting Options

Vermillion Police Department
15 Washington Street
Phone: 605-677-7070
Email: info@vermillionpd.org

Sanford Vermillion – Hospital and Clinic
20 South Plum Street
Phone: 605-677-3700

Lewis & Clark Behavioral Health Services
28 East Cherry Street
Phone: 605-624-9148

South Dakota Domestic Violence Hotline
Phone: 1-800-430-SAFE (7233)

Title IX Coordinator Trainings

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for responding to any instances of discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence and stalking and providing supportive measures to involved parties.
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A Statement From the President of the University of South Dakota

"Any form of harassment or discrimination hinders the learning process and disrupts the work environment. The University of South Dakota seeks to prevent harassment and discrimination through education and open dialogue, and where harassment and discrimination exists, to thoroughly investigate all claims."


- Sheila K. Gestring, USD President


Contact Information

Jean Merkle
Director of EEO/Title IX Coordinator
414 East Clark St
Slagle Hall 205
Vermillion, SD 57069