Neal Schnoor to Become Northern State University President

NSU logo next to new president's headshot

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Neal H. Schnoor, the chief of staff to the president at California State University Long Beach, will become the 18th president of Northern State University, the South Dakota Board of Regents announced Tuesday.

Schnoor has served in his current position since 2019. As chief of staff, he represented the president in his work with internal and external constituencies to advance the mission, initiatives and relationships of the second largest university in the 23-school CSU system, serving nearly 40,000 students.

Schnoor will become president at Northern on July 1, 2021.

“Neal Schnoor brings to Aberdeen his experience as an administrator and faculty member at three campuses quite similar to Northern in history, mission, and student characteristics,” said Regent Jim Thares, who chaired the presidential search committee. “He values what we value: a close-knit culture, sense of community, and strong work ethic. We are fortunate to have him join our state’s public university system. On behalf of the regents, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Schnoor and his family to South Dakota, to Northern State University, and to the community of Aberdeen.”

“It is an absolute privilege to serve as the next president of Northern State University and I'm honored to join the leadership team of this fine institution,” Schnoor said. “Northern has great students, a faculty and staff who are deeply committed to student success and serving the public good, and a remarkable community that is passionate and supportive."

Prior to his time on the CSU campus, Schnoor had extensive professional experience in the Midwest. He served for seven years as a senior advisor to the chancellor for executive affairs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Before that, he was dean of the School of Education and Counseling at Wayne State (Neb.) College. His faculty and teaching experience includes appointments at the University of Nebraska’s Kearney and Lincoln campuses and as a band director at three Nebraska high schools.

He has a Ph.D. in education and a master of music degree, both from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Wayne State College granted his bachelor of fine arts degree in education.

Schnoor's wife, Teresa, is an elementary principal and they have two adult children. Outside of work, he enjoys jogging and golfing, and he and his wife share passions for collegiate fine arts and athletic events and helping students meet their academic and personal goals.

Since the university was first established as the Northern Normal and Industrial School in 1901, progress has been a constant in curriculum and life at Northern State University. Northern serves more than 3,000 students, including dual credit, graduate and international students, from its picturesque 75-acre campus located in Aberdeen, a thriving community of 29,000 on the South Dakota plains. NSU is a premier, residential university characterized by outstanding instruction, extraordinary community relations, and wide-ranging extracurricular opportunities. The university is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the liberal arts and in graduate and professional education.