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Springfield Lawsuit, USD

Identifier: Temp-USD-004

Content Description

The USD/S Lawsuit Papers are composed of three series: Correspondence, Handwritten Notes/Memos, and Printed Materials. The Correspondence series contains letters between USD/S and USD administrators, particularly between the USD President Joseph McFadden and USD/S Dean Thomas C. Stone. Incoming and outgoing correspondence are contained within one folder with span dates written on each folder. Another large amount of correspondence is between the Asst. to the President at USD Roger Kozak and Robert Kaffer, USD/S Vice President of Administration and University Relations. McFadden, Stone, Kozak, and Kaffer maintained correspondence with USD/S students inquiring about their educational options during the last year of operation for the campus. Incoming and outgoing correspondence to various members of the Board of Regents is also prevalent in this series. The remainder of this series contains correspondence between the attorneys in this case, Celia Miner and Terry Prendergast, addressed to their respective law firms. There is also a great deal of correspondence to and from the members of the Board of Regents. The correspondence contained in each folder is arranged in chronological order. General correspondence is contained in one folder entitled, “A-Z.” Incoming and outgoing correspondence for a person or organization has been filed in chronological order for all folders in this series. The Printed Materials series includes newspaper clippings, court cases, official court documents, affidavits, depositions, interrogatories, motions, and subject topics. The Handwritten Notes/Memos are contained in two folders. These are notes from meetings regarding the closure of USD/S and the lawsuit, and drafts of arguments Mr. Prendergast prepared for the case.


  • Creation: 1978 - 1987
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1982 - 1986


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research without restriction. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting. Advance notice may be needed to retrieve items for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

The University of South Dakota at Springfield (USD/S) offered technical and vocational business degrees. By the early 1980s, South Dakota Governor William (Bill) Janklow proposed closing USD/S and converting the campus into a women’s correctional facility. Janklow believed that closing the school would help combat overcrowding in the prison population and the lack of proper facilities in the Sioux Falls penitentiary. USD/S administration, staff, faculty, students, and community leaders protested the decision, asserting that the move was cost prohibitive and would devastate the local economy. A bill approved by the legislature and signed into law by Janklow officially closed USD/S on June 30, 1984. Enrolled USD/S students were given the opportunity to transfer to other colleges; faculty and staff were provided with unemployment benefits and could apply for positions at other state institutions. Subsequently, 37 (initially 503) students, claiming that their civil rights had been violated, filed a lawsuit against the governor and the state Board of Regents. The students sought monetary damages and relocation expenses, i.e., Bonine v. Board of Regents. The students (plaintiffs) in the case were represented by Yankton attorney Celia Miner from the law firm of Brady, Kabeiseman, Reade, and Johnson. Terry Prendergast, from the law firm of Boyce, Murphy, McDowell, and Greenfield out of Sioux Falls, represented the BOR (defendants) in the suit. In November 1987, the First Circuit Court ruled in favor of the defendants on all counts.


5.5 Linear Feet (6 Record Cartons and 1 Document Box)

Language of Materials



This collection has documents related to a civil rights lawsuit brought by students against South Dakota Board of Regents because the BOR closed the University of South Dakota at Springfield.


Springfield Lawsuit, USD
Gayla Koerting
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USD Archives and Special Collections Repository