Regents oppose campus 'intellectual diversity' measure

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota bill seeking to promote "intellectual diversity" on campus is facing pushback from the Board of Regents, university presidents and student representatives.

The House Education Committee heard testimony on House Bill 1087 Wednesday morning, but didn't immediately vote. Republican Rep. Sue Peterson says her proposal would "preserve our First Amendment rights on college campuses."

Paul Beran, chief executive officer and executive director of the Board of Regents, says it would create unfunded mandates for universities. He says the measure obscures the regents' current "clear" free speech policy.

The bill would designate outdoor university areas public forums, prohibit officials from discriminating against student organizations based on their expression and require reporting to the governor, regents and legislators.

It would also mandate requirements for students including U.S. history and government courses and taking the U.S. citizenship test.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)