Skip to main content

 Fall registration is now open

From the President

Metropolitan State mourns passing of Associate Provost Doug Knowlton

Posted July 5, 2017

To the Metropolitan State University community:

I am writing today to share with you some very sad news. Yesterday, July 5, we lost our friend and colleague Doug Knowlton, associate provost for Student Success and Community Faculty. Doug was with his family at the cabin they so enjoyed, in Greater Minnesota, when he had a medical emergency Wednesday morning. He was airlifted to Fargo for treatment but passed away in the afternoon.

Doug came to Metropolitan State in July 2013 and was known as an empathetic and tireless advocate for our students and their needs. Doug also taught in his academic field of psychology and tutored students regularly in the Center for Academic Excellence.

Those who worked closely with Doug, including those he supervised, valued his gift for friendship, his wise counsel, his sense of humor, and his inventive approach to finding new ways to benefit students and to solve problems. Always eager to know and to grow, he modeled the lifelong learning that we commend to our students, most recently through continued graduate coursework.

Doug had a rich and distinguished academic career. Prior to joining Metropolitan State, he was vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for what was then known as the MnSCU system (now Minnesota State). Before that, he was president of Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, and chaired the board for the University Center, a collaboration of three universities serving adult place-bound students. 

Doug held a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Denver, and a master's degree in psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology, both from the University of North Dakota. He also completed postdoctoral work at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

We are particularly thinking now of Doug’s wife, Sharon, and their sons and grandchildren. At this time, information about arrangements is not available, but we will share those details when we receive them.

Doug’s passing is a great loss for our university community, even as we reflect on how his presence enriched our life together. Those who knew him well will be dealing with feelings of loss and grief in the days ahead. At this time, I want to remind co-workers and students, as Doug would remind those he served, to take care of your selves, to seek out support from friends, and to recall the availability of support resources. Employees may access the Employee Assistance Program (1-800-657-3719) if needed, and students can reach out to Metropolitan State Counseling Services at 651-793-1568. 

My thoughts are with all of you in this time of sorrow.

President Virginia "Ginny" Arthur, JD
Metropolitan State University