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Frequently Asked Questions


Please contact our office. We will check for conflicts, review your question and provide related legal services, as appropriate.

No. The Office of General Counsel represents only South Dakota State University and cannot advise employees or anyone else in private legal matters.

No. The Office of General Counsel represents only South Dakota State University. However, the Students' Association employs an attorney who provides legal aid services to students. See more information about legal aid services.

The University Policy and Procedure Manual is the definitive source for the most current South Dakota State University policies. Policies duplicated on other websites or in print may not be the most current version.

Please contact our office immediately at 605-688-5248. Court documents should be reviewed by legal counsel immediately because there are time deadlines for response.

Public Records: Contact Karyn Weber, the University's Public Records Officer at 605-688-4111. The University has ten (10) business days to respond to public records requests. 

Student Records: Contact Joyce Kepford, the University Registrar at 605-688-4442.

It is University policy to keep student records confidential in conformity with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"). In certain situations, student record information may be disclosed in conformity with University policy and applicable law. For example, university employees with access to student records may share information from a student’s records with University officials who have a “legitimate educational interest” in the information. If you have questions about whether records may be shared, please feel free to contact our office.

South Dakota State University provides accommodations for individuals in conformity with the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), its amendments and implementing regulations. Accommodations for students are made once the disability has been verified by Disability Services (605-688-4504). Reasonable accommodations for employees may be facilitated through the Office of Human Resources (605-688-4128).

Supervisors who receive information concerning allegations of harassment or discrimination should immediately contact Michelle Johnson, the Title IX/EO Coordinator in conformity with South Dakota Board of Regents Policy Section 1.4.3 and University Policy 4:6. The Title IX/EO Coordinator can also be reached by telephone at 605-688-4128.

Talk to your supervisor or contact Michelle Johnson, the Title IX/EO Coordinator. She will help with resolving the matter and assist if you want to file a formal complaint. The Title IX/EO Coordinator can also be reached by telephone at 605-688-4128.

The University President, and by the University President’s delegation the V.P. for Finance and Budget, currently have general contractual signature authority for authorized contracts on behalf of the University. For certain types of agreements in select areas of responsibility, other officers have limited contract signature authority. An individual may incur personal responsibility for agreements signed without authority. Contact the Office of the V.P. for Finance and Budget for more information about delegated contract signature authority.

The University does not carry general liability insurance. The University is subject to the limitations of liability set forth in South Dakota Codified Laws, which provide certain liability protection for the University and its employees. The University maintains certain coverage and legal defense through the PEPL fund agreement.

It is generally a good idea to have participants in off campus activities read and sign a form acknowledging their understanding and assumption of risks. You may contact the Office of Academic Affairs for more information regarding the standard form and instructions for processing. The Study Abroad Office (605-688-4122) maintains guidelines for study abroad programs.

Under the principles of “Fair Use,” other’s copyrighted materials may be used in limited portions for teaching, research and scholarship. Additional rules apply to the use of electronic copies. 

Unless lawyer-client privilege is waived, information provided for the purpose of obtaining legal advice is privileged as to third parties. This information may not be privileged as to other University and Board of Regents officials. Privilege determinations are made based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

The Office of General Counsel coordinates and provides a wide variety of legal services for the University. We prepare legal documents and review, revise, and recommend approval of agreements that the institution executes. We also provide internal educational programs concerning legal compliance and policy issues. One of the important functions of the Office of General Counsel is to provide counsel, assistance and information to University employees about the policies and procedures of the University, the South Dakota Board of Regents, the State of South Dakota, and the federal government. We are generally available to provide such information relative to legal matters that arise out of an employee's conduct of their duties; however, we cannot provide legal advice to and do not represent individuals or students, except in their roles as employees of the University.