Knowlton takes position in Minnesota
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter
After eight years at the helm of Dakota State University, Dr. Doug Knowlton has accepted a position as vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for the Minnesota State Colleges and University system.|
Knowlton's new position will take effect in three months.
"I will still be here energetically and enthusiastically leading DSU until some time in February 2012," Knowlton said on Monday (today) in a released statement.
He will join the new chancellor of the university system, Steven Rosenstone, who was hired on Aug. 1.
"The chancellor has a lot of initiatives he wants to get going," Knowlton said.
In a telephone interview Monday, Knowlton said the vice chancellor position is the No. 2 position overseeing and coordinating program and activities at seven university campuses in Minnesota, along with 31 community and technical colleges. The university system was formed in 1995 and now has an enrollment of about 270,000 students.
Knowlton said that the decision to accept this new position was a difficult one to make and is one he makes with mixed emotions. In his campus-wide statement, Knowlton made the following statement:
"Over the eight years I have served as your president, I have grown to respect and love all that is Dakota State University. Together I feel we have accomplished so many things. Our enrollment has grown, our range of degree programs has expanded, the campus is more beautiful and our buildings truly reflect the history and future of this university."
Knowlton was hired to lead DSU in 2003. During his tenure, DSU has continued to set record enrollments, increasing from 2,295 to 3,101. Enrollment in distance courses has also increased by 60 percent since 2005.
The number of master's programs at DSU has doubled from three to six with the addition of master's programs in information assurance, health informatics and business administration. Campus officials are currently planning a seventh master's in applied computer science.
DSU gained approval for its first doctoral program, a Doctor of Science in Information Systems, in 2006.
Major renovation projects have taken place on campus, including multimillion-dollar renovation projects at the science center and the four residence halls. DSU also completed its Wireless Mobile Computing Initiative and now issues tablet computers to every student on campus.
Knowlton also led DSU in launching its first Capital Campaign. Fund-raising for the campaign began in 2008. The goal is to raise $37 million for additional scholarships and campus buildings.
Research efforts have exploded during Knowlton's time on campus, with DSU noting $8.4 million alone in new grants and contracts in 2010. DSU also has three designated research centers -- the National Center for the Protection of the Financial Infrastructure; the Center for the Advancement of Health Information Technology; and the Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
Knowlton said the interview process for the vice chancellor position started in June. He credits his affiliation with DSU and its achievements as reasons for his consideration.
"If I hadn't had this position, and all these great things hadn't happened, I probably wouldn't have been considered," he said. "I feel honored."
Knowlton's wife Sharon has been the principal at the Madison High School since 2005. She plans to continue her position within the school district through the 2012-13 academic year to see the high school renovation project completed.
The search process will now begin for a new DSU president.
Jack Warner, executive director for the South Dakota Board of Regents, said the search will begin with the development of a presidential profile and an update of the job description, followed by a posting of the job and establishing of a search committee.
The interview process then begins with final candidates interviewed by various groups on campus.
Given the timeline for Knowlton's departure, Warner said, it's possible an interim president will be named on campus until the search is completed and the new candidate is in place. All things considered, Warner said, he would expect a new president in place by next July 1.
"He's been a good president and a good leader for Dakota State," Warner said. "President Knowlton has done a fine job. We wish him well."
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