About the President

Norval C. Kneten was appointed the eleventh President of Barton College on July 1, 2003. Recognizing early in his tenure that the Barton faculty had the strength and willingness to work collaboratively across disciplinary lines, he challenged the campus to develop a nationally recognized reputation for student learning in critical thinking and communication. Responding to this challenge, the college has earned an enviable reputation for value-added education as demonstrated by student performance on widely-accepted measures such as the National Survey of Student Engagement and the Collegiate Learning Assessment.

After earning his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Texas Lutheran College, Dr. Kneten completed his graduate work on the kinetics of internally unstable complex ions at the University of Minnesota and was awarded the Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry.

Throughout his 30-year teaching career, he supervised student research leading to publications and presentations on heavy metal ion analysis, photo-catalytic decomposition of PCB’s, molecular modeling of buckminsterfullerene analogues, and non-linear photo-excitation studies of intrinsic semiconductor systems.

Dr. Kneten has presented in national forums on leadership styles in higher education, institutional assessment cultures, improving science education, and the role of innovative strategic planning. He actively participated in the Lilly Endowment program exploring the relevance of church affiliation for institutions of higher education.

Dr. Kneten has chaired Wilson 20/20 (the community-wide visioning and strategic planning initiative for Wilson, NC), has been president of NCAA DII Conference Carolinas and currently leads its planning committee, is a member of the board and executive committee of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, and is on the board of the Council of Independent Colleges.

His recognitions have ranged from the Golden Rule Award, a campus-wide recognition for outstanding teaching by freshmen students, to being selected as an Impact Leader by the Triangle Business Leader.

He is married to Susan Burton Kneten, a retired businesswoman. They have three children and four grandchildren, all of whom live in Texas.