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Noem’s Higher-Ed-Liberalism Hotline Technically Flopping

On Thursday, May 25, Governor Kristi Noem condemned South Dakota’s public universities as gross failures in need of revitalization. But it’s her new whistleblower hotline—605-773-5916—for citizens to call in and accuse university professors and other staff of promoting anything other than right-wing political ideas and whitewashed history seems to be the real gross failure in need of revitalization

I called 605-773-5916 twice this morning, at 6:43 and 6:46, and received the same automated response:

Automated female voice 1: Mailbox for is full. you are being transferred to the attendant.

Automated female voice 2: Thank you for your call. All attendants are busy at this time. Please hang up and try again.

It’s Memorial Day weekend—our campuses aren’t even open, and the rat-out-libs line already has more reports of liberal craziness in South Dakota higher education than it can handle?

Jacob Newton got similar results Friday, just a day after Noem declared open season on professors:

Whereas on May 25 those calling the number were directed to leave a message with their name, university and comment, callers as of the morning of May 26 were met with a different message: “Mailbox full.”

By the afternoon of May 26, the voicemail box was again accessible [Jacob Newton, “No Plan Apparent for Noem’s ‘Whistleblower Hotline’,” KELO-TV, updated 2023.05.27].

Newton recorded this audio preceding the opportunity to leave a message. The audio seems to be a different voice, recorded by a slightly less vocally polished female staff member reading from a hasty script from the Capitol Second Floor:

Thank you for calling the South Dakota Board of Regents whistleblower hotline. This hotline was created for students and faculty to keep our universities accountable to South Dakota values and be an example to the nation of what good higher education looks like. Please leave your name, university, and phone number before your message in case follow-up is needed. Thank you for speaking up and keeping our universities accountable [South Dakota Board of Regents whistleblower hotline, recorded answering message, transcribed from audio posted in Newton, 2023.05.27].

That message conflicts with the Governor’s Thursday announcement, which said the hotline was for parents and taxpayers as well as students and faculty. It also seems awkward to say the whistleblower hotline exemplifies to the nation what higher education looks like. The hotline seems to better exemplify fascist tactics to turn citizens against each other and target certain groups with fear and baseless allegations and no clear statutory or administrative process for verification or due process.

If the Governor has a plan for the practical operation of this hotline, she’s not telling the public about it:

[We] reached out to Noem’s office, requesting an interview to learn more about the philosophy and implementation of the hotline. We have received no response as of the time of writing.

…Without word from the governor’s office, it is currently unclear how this hotline will be managed. At present, it does not appear to have the capacity to receive the calls. It is also not known who will be listening to and recording the messages.

Beyond this question, it is also not known what type of enforcement will be taken as a result of whatever calls are received, how the complaints will be vetted or how any allegations made will be verified.

Will additional staff be hired for the task of listening to, recording, vetting and investigating what could wind up being thousands of reports?

If so, where will the money come from? In January, the legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations approved a budget proposal of $2,789,385 for the Governor’s Office in FY 2024, which will begin July 1, 2023.

Within the governor’s recommended budget for FY 2024, $2,185,269 are earmarked for ‘personal services’ — of which employee salaries are included — for a staffing level of 21.5 full-time-equivalent employees [Newton, 2023.05.27].

Fat-headed fascist Senator Jim Stalzer (R-11/Sioux Falls) says each university should be able to investigate hotline allegations with existing staff. But the Regents say the Governor’s Office is running the hotline. So this hotline appears set to drain resources away from educating and governing.

But it doesn’t take more staff or formal planning or even functioning technology to intensify an atmosphere of fear and oppression and chill free speech and academic inquiry.


  1. larry kurtz 2023-05-28 07:55

    Universities are closed for summer session, right?

  2. John 2023-05-28 09:40

    One should not be surprised if prison labor operates the hotline.

  3. Jenny 2023-05-28 10:35

    Does the State of SD have a tip line for reporting corruption?

  4. DaveFN 2023-05-28 11:36

    [Please remove my post if it violates privacy or confidentiality. The link is searchable and accessible, however, so is open to public view]

    Professors in South Dakota and elsewhere are already being targeted. Noem is once again jumping onto the bandwagon her provincial, small-minded way.

  5. John Dale 2023-05-28 12:00

    I think it’s great that the hotline is so successful.

    I wonder how many are calling in good faith, and how many are just trying to crash the hotline?

    I’m glad I got my call in early.

  6. sx123 2023-05-28 13:00

    What are South Dakota values?I

  7. larry kurtz 2023-05-28 13:06

    Republican is simply another word for Earth hater so seeing one railing against a smart professor is hardly news.

  8. Richard Schriever 2023-05-28 14:20

    John Dale “… successful.” Ha ha hya haha. Obviously, your reading comprehension skills are lacking.

  9. O 2023-05-28 14:21

    There is a big difference between being used and being successful. My jr. high self feels like I need to follow that observation up with a “yo’ mamma” reference.

  10. Arlo Blundt 2023-05-28 14:29

    sx123–Lunch at the cafe on Main Street in Pollock is a good value…so is breakfast…

  11. Loren 2023-05-28 14:59

    Ah, yes, South Dakota values. I, too, was wondering what that meant. Well, under Gov. Rounds we had 2 or 3 good scandals. Our present national delegation apparently condones crotch grabbing, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, inciting an insurrection… As we approach Memorial Day, I also have to wonder what Harold Thune would think of his spawn. The two gents, father/son, certainly seem to define “patriotism” differently. RIP, Harold.

  12. Scott 2023-05-28 16:27

    So far I’ve called to complain about soy milk being sold on campus. Soy milk can raise estrogen levels in men, therefore causing men to become transgendered. My next call, once Kristi clears out the voicemail, will be to complain about the sale of Bud Light at SDSU football games.

  13. grudznick 2023-05-28 16:36

    It is probably a crime to tamper with government computers and hot lines. I doubt young Mr. Goss is messing with this phone system…I’m just sayin…

  14. larry kurtz 2023-05-28 17:11

    It’s probably a crime to tell a population that vaccines and surgical masks are antithetical to human health but that didn’t stop Mrs. Noem and her conspiracy with the Trump Organization to visit genocide on Native America.

  15. Donald Pay 2023-05-28 20:45

    I’ll be making a call. How long do you have to talk on that line before they cut you off?

  16. grudznick 2023-05-28 20:53

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Governor Noem’s phone line she published was a tar baby to trick a bunch of angry fellows and waste their time? That would be funny indeed.

  17. grudznick 2023-05-28 21:09

    Or even to trick some fellows into giving up their phone numbers, and perhaps giving them a target against which to commit crimes and get nabbed? I bet there is a good chance of some nabbing here.

  18. P. Aitch 2023-05-29 06:34

    @grudznick – As a racial slur
    Lexico lists tar baby as “a contemptuous term for a black person”, the Oxford English Dictionary describes it as “a derogatory term for a Black (U.S.) or a Maori (N.Z.)”, and The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English lists it as an offensive term for a black person.
    Also, your saturated paranoia makes me laugh.
    P. Aitch is laughing at your sad life. 😅😂🤣

  19. grudznick 2023-05-29 11:04

    Well, Mr. P.h, the internets list tar baby much like Uncle Remus did:

    a difficult problem that is only aggravated by attempts to solve it.
    “disposal of nuclear waste was a problem whose solution was endlessly delayed, a tar baby no one wanted anything to do with”

    I’m sure you have been or caused many a tar baby yourownself in your day. Eat well today, my friend, and remember those who gave out-of-state name-callers the freedom to do what they do.

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