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NSU President to Depart Aberdeen Campus




News Release

Contacts: Janelle Toman, Director of Communications


Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst



Telephone: (605) 773-3455

Fax: (605) 773-5320






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, April 16, 2021


NSU President to Depart Aberdeen Campus


ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University President Timothy M. Downs has announced his resignation to pursue a new opportunity in higher education.


In his five years on the Aberdeen campus, Downs presided over positive changes on campus and within the Aberdeen community, including freshmen class growth in four of the past five years, a freshman to sophomore retention rate above 73%, and major academic and sports facility enhancements. New facilities were funded by donations that amounted to more than $110 million.


“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.”


An interim president will be designated to lead Northern, while a search for the next president commences 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. degree in organizational communication from the University of Oklahoma.  


Since the university was established as the Northern Normal and Industrial School in 1901, progress has been a constant in curriculum and life at Northern State University. In its 120-year history, Northern faculty and staff have continued to meet the needs of students at the university level and those in K-12 education through traditional, distance delivery, and online teaching. Northern is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors.