Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

John Howe

Second Advisor

Prentiss Clark

Third Advisor

Timothy Schorn


higher education, South Dakota, political rhetoric, critical race theory, opportunity center, fairness in women's sports, 2021, document analysis

Subject Categories

American Politics | Education Policy


This study is a document analysis in an attempt to understand political rhetoric from four main players from the end of the 2021 South Dakota Legislative Session to the end of the 2022 Legislative Session. These four players are 1) Governor Noem, 2) the Board of Regents, 3) the South Dakota Legislature, and 4) the Argus Leader. One-hundred eight documents from these sources were analyzed, and deemed “rhetorically political” by presence of the phrases “fairness in women’s sports,” “critical race theory,” or “opportunity center,” or deemed “rhetorically apolitical” by the absence of these phrases. The rates of rhetorically political documents, by source, are then compared, and questions are asked about what it all means for South Dakota higher education moving forward.



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