Dr. Timothy M. Downs began as the 17th president of Northern State University on June 27, 2016.
Before joining NSU, Downs was the provost and chief academic officer of New York's Niagara University. He provided leadership and supervision for all facets of Niagara University's academic affairs work since 2011.
As provost, Downs helped redefine the first-year student assessment process at Niagara to better place students in courses for academic success. He created a robust teaching and learning center on the Niagara University campus dedicated to faculty and staff development. This faculty development center also assisted instructors in the use of learning management systems and helped them develop new online and hybrid courses.
With more than 30 years in the higher education field, Downs began his career as a professor and over time evolved into the administrative ranks in his position as provost. He also has extensive experience in the public higher education arena, with 14 years spent working in the state higher education systems of California and Kansas.
Prior to his time at Niagara University, Downs was dean of the College of Humanities, Business, and Education at Pennsylvania's Gannon University, where he was employed for nine years. He previously was dean of graduate studies and research at Emporia State University in Kansas and assistant vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Los Angeles.
He holds a Ph.D. in organizational communication from the University of Oklahoma, a master's degree in communication studies from West Virginia University, and a B.A. degree, also in communication studies, from California State University, Sacramento.
Downs and his wife, Mary, enjoy hiking and biking and exercising their dogs (Harvey and Stella), along with an occasional round of golf. Mary grew up in Long Beach, Calif., where they met while Tim was employed in the California State University system. Mary's career has been in medical equipment and pharmaceutical sales.