ABERDEEN, S.D.(Press Release) – Northern State University President Timothy M. Downs has announced his resignation to pursue a new opportunity in higher education according to news release by the South Dakota Board of Regents.
In his five years on the Aberdeen campus, Downs presided over positive changes on campus and within the Aberdeen community, including freshman class growth in four of the past five years, a freshman to sophomore retention rate above 73 percent, and major academic and sports facility enhancements. New facilities were funded by donations that amounted to more than $110 million.
-Addition of two new residence halls
-A new science center
-The new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired facility, a longtime academic partner with NSU’s Millicent Atkins School of Education
-The Athletic and Recreation Fields project, home to women’s soccer, men’s football and outdoor intramurals
-Substantive renovations to the Barnett Center, including a center-hung scoreboard and new playing surfaces
-The final project, to be completed this fall, the on-campus Regional Sports Complex, including a competition football stadium and women’s softball complex.
A career academic, Dr. Downs advocated for and obtained nearly 20 new programs during his time at NSU, including growth in graduate programs that contributed to a nearly 30 percent increase in graduate credit hours this spring. Northern is also presently a candidate to join the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), affirming the quality of the liberal arts at Northern. In addition, Northern strengthened its brand identity, including revamping its social media, trademarking logos, and implementing a cohesive messaging campaign.
“Mary and I came to Aberdeen to transform campus, and I believe we accomplished our mission,” said Downs. “I have tremendous faith that campus will continue this positive momentum, which has unleashed Northern to not only sustain, but thrive.”
According to a campus-wide email, Veronica Paulson, vice president for finance and administration at Northern, has been appointed acting president. An interim president will be named in the coming weeks, and the search for a new president will begin immediately.
Downs was appointed the 17th president of NSU on June 27, 2016. He came to the Aberdeen campus from Niagara University of Lewiston, N.Y., where he served as provost and chief academic officer from 2011 to 2016. He holds a Ph.D. in organizational communication from the University of Oklahoma.
Here is the statement from NSU:
We thank Dr. Downs for his five years of service to Northern State University and wish him the very best on his next endeavor.
During his tenure, Dr. Downs helped lead the charge to transform campus facilities and academics, and due to the efforts of many, Northern is poised to excel for decades to come.