About Dr. Novak


Dr. Amy Novak has served as president of Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota, since June of 2013.

She previously served in multiple administrative roles at DWU, including as provost and executive vice president from 2008-2013; vice president for enrollment management; dean of enrollment management; and director of student support services.

During her presidential tenure, Novak increased aggregate university enrollment by more than 20%. There are 948 students enrolled in DWU's undergraduate, graduate and online programs.

amy novakUnder Novak's leadership, DWU significantly broadened and expanded the student populations that it serves. Almost one-third of the 789 undergraduates are first-generation students and nearly 40% are low-income students.

Novak led two capital campaigns that raised nearly $60 million dollars, most of which supported building initiatives on DWU's Mitchell campus. A new School of Business, Innovation, and Leadership will open in fall 2021.

Early in her tenure, Novak spearheaded the university's efforts to launch its first online, hybrid, and graduate programs: an LPN-BS program; an MBA program; and a M.Ed. program.

Novak is the current president of the North American Association of United Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities. She also has served as the president of the South Dakota Foundation of Private Colleges; as the presidential representative to the NAIA council of presidents from the Great Plains Athletic Conference; and on the executive council of presidents for the NAIA.

Dr. Novak earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame: a master's degree in economics from Wright State University; and a doctoral degree in interdisciplinary leadership from Creighton University.

She was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and graduated from high school in Mitchell, where DWU is located.

Dr. Novak and her husband, Ken, are parents to eight children.

Ken Novak served in the Air Force from 1990 through 2003, when he was medically retired with the rank of major. In the military, he served as a speech writer for the four-star general overseeing Air Force Operations in Europe and Turkey, and as a faculty member in the English department at the Air Force Academy, where he was named Teacher of the Year.

Ken Novak earned a Doctor of English degree from the University of Ottawain Ottawa, Canada, a Master of English degree from the University of Dayton, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

News Release: Dr. Amy Novak Next President at SAU SAU History Speaks to Novak (Spring 2021, Scene Magazine)

Novak Family

The Novak Family


Amy and Ken Novak have eight children ranging in age from 13- to 26-years-old.


The Faith Awakens Podcast

With Guest Dr. Amy Novak

Fr. Thom Hennen '01 and Megan Grady '21 are joined by a very special guest: St. Ambrose President-Elect Dr. Amy Novak.

She joins this podcast (April 13/Episode 45) to share her background, what led her to SAU, and her deep passion for higher education. Plus, find out what Dr. Novak is reading and learn about some of her hobbies!

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Soundcloud


A New Chapter for St. Ambrose University
Leadership Alongside President Novak

Looking forward to a strong, bold, and innovative future!

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