Northern State University is moving forward with plans to create a Chinese language and cultural center that that will be the first of its kind in the Dakotas.
Officials at the Aberdeen university have been working with the Chinese government and the University of Jinan to set up a Confucius Institute. They hope it would give South Dakota a link to China's growing economy while preparing students to work in international business.
The South Dakota Board of Regents made funding for NSU's proposed Confucius Center its top priority on its list of one-time spending requests Thursday. The regents approved their annual legislative budget wish list this week.
Legislators still must agree to fund the $400,000 request. President James Smith says he's confident NSU can make a strong case.