October 18, 2011

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 82, Issue 3

Meet Dr. Downs: NU's vice president for academic affairs

Dr. Timothy Downs, NU’s new vice president of academic affairs.

Dr. Timothy Downs, NU’s new vice president of academic affairs.

If you haven't met Niagara's newest VP, consider this a brief introduction.

Niagara University's new vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Timothy M. Downs, began his position on June 13.

He has an extensive background in higher education. He's been a faculty member and worked with student leader groups.

I really enjoyed working with students as a professor and an advisor, Downs said.

Yet, his main goal was always to move into administration.

He was dean of humanities education and social sciences at Gannon University in Pennsylvania and was assistant vice president at California State University.

His experience allowed him to learn many, if not all, the facets of a university and finally achieve what he had aimed for.

I'm ecstatic to be here. I really like the students, faculty and administration, Downs said.

I like the Catholic Vincentian mission of the university; the manageable size of the university, he said.

Downs also said that NU is a school that carefully and strategically develops students.

You can make a huge difference in the lives of students, he said.

So far he's been faced with the challenge of embracing a new community and culture.

You have to learn the culture, then learn the personalities. It takes six months to a year, he said.

Downs said his new position is pretty much what he expected. NU is the fourth university where he has served as a faculty member or an administrator.

Overall, Downs said his main message to the students is, We need your feedback; we need your ideas; we need to know what you think could help better your academic experience. ... If there's something we need to do better, more of or differently, please tell us.

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