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Dear Students,

It has been an unprecedented time in our state, country and world as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone in the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) system. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff throughout the state is our top priority and we continue to monitor the situation around the clock.

Considering the continued high risk of exposure throughout the United States and in the interest of public safety, the SDBOR is taking the following actions:

  • Beginning Monday, March 23, all classes will be temporarily moved online.
  • On-campus, in-person classes are currently scheduled to resume on Monday, April 6.

The USD Wellness Center and USD Vucurevich Children’s Center will also remain closed through Friday, April 3.

This is an evolving situation and the SDBOR will revisit this situation and communicate any changes in course delivery again on March 27.

As of today, there are no confirmed cases at USD or in Vermillion. We are thankful for the diligent work of the larger Vermillion community and the state of South Dakota to reduce the transmission of this novel coronavirus.

We know it is frustrating to have uncertainty about the next few months on campus. We know many of you have questions that are specific to your majors, and we appreciate your patience as we work together to find solutions that ensure our students continue to progress toward graduation as planned.

I urge our community members to remember the extended spring break and temporary transition to online learning should not be treated as a vacation. It is imperative all non-essential travel and social activities are canceled and we all work together to practice social distancing. Stay home. Stay connected to your friends and family. Even small group gatherings can exponentially increase the spread of COVID-19. This is temporary and protects the vulnerable populations in our community – our parents, our grandparents and those with chronic diseases. Practicing social distancing helps “flatten the curve” and reduces the strain on our health care systems.

Whether online or on-campus, you are Coyotes. We are here for you, and your future is in good hands. USD’s telehealth counseling services remain available for students in need, and appointments can be made by calling 605-658-3580. If you have questions or concerns, you may contact the President’s Office at

Please continue to monitor your email and for regular updates. We will also be posting updates and answering questions on our COVID-19 highlight reel on @USouthDakota’s Instagram page or you can follow me on Twitter @USDPresident. We welcome your questions and will answer them as quickly as possible.

Together, as members of the Coyote community, we will persevere through this difficult situation. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the challenges posed by this global pandemic. I am confident in USD’s ability to continue serving and protecting its students, faculty and staff, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.


Sheila K. Gestring
University of South Dakota