South Dakota legislators mull wireless campuses bill

Students will be expected to buy their own laptop computers if legislators authorize a wireless campus initiative for South Dakota’s public universities, reports the Argus Leader. That might present some problems in the early going of the initiative, but personal laptops are becoming more an essential part of college, says a Black Hills State University graduate who obtained a history degree last spring. "I think a majority of students at our campus have their own computers," Kelly Kirk said. The state Legislature last year refused to pay for a proposal to create what the Board of Regents calls a mobile computing environment on the six public university campuses. The core of the plan is to wire and equip each campus for total wireless computing. The regents again this month included the plan in their proposed budget. The campuses would pay for it with a combination of $3.8 million in state money for ongoing costs and almost $11 million for one-time expenses raised through a payday shift in the university system. Tad Perry, executive director of the regents, said he thinks legislators understand the need for wireless campuses but are concerned about setting aside money for the program. Students will buy and own their own laptops, he assured…

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