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Timothy Downs will serve as the next president for Minnesota State University Moorhead after the system's board of trustees unanimously approved his selection on Wednesday.

Downs, who is interim chief of staff at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, will begin his new job July 1, leading a campus that enrolls about 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra told trustees that he was recommending Downs from a pool of 57 candidates because he believed Downs' skills would make him well-equipped to lead the university at a time when it is working to stabilize enrollment.

"In short, Tim Downs is the entire package," Malhotra said.

Downs will take over from President Anne Blackhurst, who is retiring. Downs worked as president and CEO of Northern State University in South Dakota, a school that enrolled about 3,500 students. In that role, he helped revise the campus' plans for recruitment and enrollment.

Before that, he worked as provost and chief academic officer at Niagara University in New York and Gannon University in Pennsylvania.

Downs told trustees his visit to Minnesota State University, Moorhead left him with the impression that it is "an exceptional learning community, one that includes dedicated people, with everyone being part of an extended family."

That, he said, was "one of the most crucial factors that made me accept this position without any hesitation."