Office of the President

President Tim DownsDr. 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.

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President's Communications and News

President Downs' Twitter Account


President Downs Highlights Longstanding NSU/Avera Partnership (video)

Jan. 21, 2018 - Dr. Timothy Downs and Avera St. Luke's Hospital Regional President/CEO Todd Forkel discuss the partnership between two of Aberdeen's oldest organizations


President Downs' Article 'Philanthropy Matters at State-Run Colleges and Universities'

Dec. 27, 2017 - Published in Prairie Business magazine


President Downs' NSU Welcome Video

Oct. 19, 2017 - Northern State University created a one-of-a-kind welcome video to show that NSU is a university unlike any other


President Downs Discusses NSU, SDSBVI Project (video)

Oct. 4, 2017 - Dr. Timothy Downs discusses a joint project that would include a new $13.7 million home for the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SDSBVI)


President Downs' Remarks at Spring Commencement 2017

May 6, 2017 - Dr. Timothy Downs addressed NSU graduates at the spring commencement ceremony


President Downs to Serve on Regional Boards

Jan. 20, 2017 - Dr. Timothy Downs will serve on the boards of directors for two regional nonprofit organizations


President Downs' Inauguration Speech

Nov. 10, 2016 - Dr. Timothy Downs was inaugurated as Northern State University's 17th president


President Downs' Article on Transitioning to the Presidency

Summer 2016 - Published in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities quarterly magazine, Public Purpose

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NSU's Strategic Plan, Mission Forward

NSU's Organizational Chart

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