Academic Affairs

Alan LaFaveWelcome to the office of Academic Affairs at Northern State University! Northern provides a rigorous academic setting, characterized by small class sizes and exceptional learning opportunities, where you can expect the best in academics, enriching cultural experiences, athletic opportunities and experiential learning.
Our student/faculty ratio of 20 to 1 provides a high-quality learning environment in a personalized setting. Our courses are taught by full-time professors who are leaders in their disciplines. More than 80 percent of our professors hold terminal degrees in their respective fields, and they share their expertise with our students every day.
I'm confident you will find the NSU academic experience to be positive, enriching and fulfilling. Our individualized approach to student success, coupled with our extraordinary student support programs, is the hallmark of the Northern experience.
We hope you find this site useful and helpful. Welcome again, and best wishes in your academic pursuits at Northern State University!
Alan D. LaFave, DMA
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
About Academic Affairs

about us

The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for Northern State University€™s academic integrity. The provost and vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Alan LaFave, is the chief academic officer for the university, and the person to whom the deans and directors of the academic support units report. The Office of Academic Affairs oversees undergraduate, graduate and professional education at Northern, which offers programs at the certificate, associate, baccalaureate, and masters levels within four academic units: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Education, and the School of Fine Arts.
The provost works closely with all deans to ensure that Northern recruits and retains exceptional faculty and offers high-quality academic programs.
Northern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Northern is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Northern also is home to the Center of Excellence in International Business and Entrepreneurship, developed in 1997 to increase economic opportunities for Northern students and South Dakota businesspeople by driving international business and facilitating enterprise creation and expansion. The CEIBE is internationally accredited by the Network of International Business Schools.
Northern also hosts the Center for Statewide E-learning. Since the late Gov. Bill Janklow spearheaded its creation in 2001, the center has reached countless students through delivery of DDN and online high school courses. The center has delivered courses that students in rural areas would otherwise have no opportunity to take, including advanced placement courses.
Joelle Lien
Dr. Joelle Lien
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Contact NSU Academic Affairs
Administrative Assistant Judy Lapka
Office: Spafford Hall 203
Phone: 605-626-2524


Academics at Northern