- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Niagara University Provost Timothy Downs has been named the next president of Northern State University.

The South Dakota Board of Regents made the announcement Thursday in Aberdeen. Downs will begin his new job on June 27.

Regent Harvey Jewett says Downs has been at the forefront of initiatives to improve the student learning experience, providing leadership and supervision for academic affairs work at Niagara University since 2011. The private university in the Western New York community of Lewiston has about 4,200 students.

Downs succeeds James Smith, who is leaving Northern State after seven years to become president of Eastern Michigan University.

The other two finalists were Jacksonville University College of Business Dean Don Capener and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow.

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