Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School



On February 11, 1971, the Regents of Higher Education for the State of South Dakota determined to follow a course-of action that would eliminate the College of Engineering at South Dakota State University in favor of maintaining only one such college at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. This course of action was implied through the adoption of certain recommendations contained in the Master Plan submitted to the Board of Regents by the Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. Richard Gibb.
It had been suggested, through the prior investigation and subsequent recommendations of various committees, that South Dakota should have only one College of Engineering and that it should remain a part of South Dakota State University. An additional recommendation suggested that the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology should become a "Western" University. The Board of Regents voted in opposition to this recommendation and supported an alternate recommendation that the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology should remain relatively unchanged, thus maintaining its engineering identity. By accepting the recommendation that there should be only one College of Engineering in South Dakota they implied that South Dakota State University would lose its College of Engineering. The Board of Regents' acceptance of this combination of alternatives was the cause of considerable controversy on the campus of each school, on the floor of the state legislature, and in local newspapers throughout South Dakota. The proposed closing of the College of Engineering at South Dakota State University- became a significant issue in 1971 and involved a variety of persons and interest groups in the subsequent rhetoric. Therefore, it has been the purpose in this investigation to discover and analyze selected inventive components in the rhetoric of the "Engineering School Controversy" from the date of the Board of Regents' decision, February 11, 1971, through the final legislative day, March 19, 1971. The selected inventive components include thematic emergence, lines of argument, and forms of support.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State University. School of Engineering
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Engineering -- Study and teaching -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University