SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem’s whistleblower hotline that she touts as a new tool to improve accountability at public universities is getting mixed reviews from South Dakota lawmakers. While some legislators see the hotline as a way of giving the public a stronger voice about what’s being taught on college campuses, others see it as having a chilling effect in the classroom and wide-open to abuses.
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“Thank you for calling the South Dakota Board of Regents whistleblower hotline…”
A recording tells callers the new whistleblower hotline will be an example to the nation about what quality higher education should look like. Republican State Senator Jim Stalzer sees the hotline as a convenience for people who don’t want to play phone tag within the state government bureaucracy.
“I think it gives people an opportunity and a place to know that they can go and get a hearing if they do feel they have a legitimate grievance. It’s a good thing,” Stalzer said.
Stalzer doesn’t think the hotline will be used extensively for whistle-blowing. But rather to simply air concerns about higher education in the state.
“I know I’m concerned about graduation rates, like the governor is, particularly if half of the students don’t graduate and have large student loan debts,” Stalzer said.
But Democratic Representative Erin Healy thinks a hotline is a heavy-handed approach to promote far-right...
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