NAU Promotes Faculty to Full Professorship


In February of 2020, National American University (NAU) had the opportunity to promote two adjunct faculty members to Professor. Professor Ethan W. Schmidt has been practicing law for about 30 years and has taught a variety of classes at NAU for 8 years. Dr. Herb Kemp is a lifelong intelligence and national security professional, with successive careers in the military, defense industry, and academia that was promoted to professor at NAU’s Henley Putnam’s School of Strategic Security. Learn more about each professor below!

Herb Kemp

Dr. Herb Kemp received his bachelor’s degree in political science from West Virginia University, his master’s degree in Systems Management at University of Southern California, and his Ph.D. in Organization Management at Capella University.

Dr. Kemp served on active duty in the United States Air Force from 1973-2001, retiring in the rank of Colonel. In his last assignment, he served as the Deputy Director for Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Headquarters USAF, from 1997 to 2001. He led an Air Staff organization providing the functional and programmatic management of operational Air Force surveillance and reconnaissance programs worldwide, totally $1.8 Billion annually. After his military service, Dr. Kemp work as an executive in the defense industry for 10 years, and later as a defense consultant. On top of being a professor at NAU’s Henley-Putnam’s School of Strategic Security (H-PSSS), he is also the founder and owner of OneALPHA Corporation, which provides management and technology consulting services to defense industry clients ranging from small business to Fortune 500 firms in support of both domestic and international programs.

Dr. Herb Kemp also holds many appointments, including Senior Visiting Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, Commissioner of the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission, Board Member of the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Officer of Elections in Fairfax County, Member of the Intelligence Committee in the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association, Member of the Program Advisory Board in the Intelligence Studies Program at National American University, and Member of the International Association for Intelligence Education.

Dr. Kemp has written many publications, with the most recent including “Countering Mobile Missiles: Holding the Entire Missile Launch Cycle at Risk”, for Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in August of 2019. He has also presented at numerous presentations and conferences, as well as receiving numerous awards. He has received multiple awards for meritorious military service including the Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal and the Southwest Asia Service Medal. Dr. Kemp was also honored as an “Admiral in the Texas Navy” by former Governor Ann Richards of Texas, in recognition of public service rendered in support of the Middle East Peace Process.

At H-PSSS, Dr. Kemp teaches Strategic Intelligence Process and Policy, and Intelligence Practicum in the doctorate program. Previously, he has taught History of Intelligence, Leadership Analysis, Operational Concepts and Planning, and Area Studies Analysis.

When asked why he chose to teach at H-PSSS, Dr. Kemp responded, “This is career number three for me (first two were the Air Force and later Defense Industry).  I had always wanted to become a full time academic at some point in my life so that I could teach and write and be able to pass on the professional experiences and insights that I have acquired over a 40 plus year career.  My program in the DSS makes the best use of my academic and professional credentials and offers the privilege of working with the next generation of intelligence and security professionals.

“I was fortunate to have had a rich and varied Air Force career for nearly three decades during a critical time in the history of our nation (Cold War and early post-Cold War), with service in the Far East, Middle East, Europe and Latin America.  That experience is once again becoming very relevant as we see the tectonic plates shifting once again to remake the world order.  My defense industry career followed in the post 9/11 period for another decade as we supported a new generation of military and intelligence professionals serving and fighting the nation’s wars.  My military and defense industry background is a good match for our students, who are in similar professions today.”

When it comes to impact, Dr. Kemp says, “Obviously we want our students to understand and be able to apply the subject matter in our programs, but that alone is not enough.  They must also be able to understand the underlying theories and principles of the disciplines we teach and must be able to develop original approaches to problem solving based on the tools and constructs we have provided.  I also believe that every teaching opportunity is also an opportunity to help students continue to improve their critical thinking and writing abilities and place heavy emphasis on the art of precise written communication in all of my courses.”

Some of Dr. Kemp’s biggest accomplishments include a 45-year marriage that produced two fine sons despite his frequent absences over the course of his multiple careers. Professionally, he considers one of his biggest accomplishments to be when he led a staff of 80 Air Force professionals in building the foundation for the robust airborne surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that went to war after 9/11. He also said flying a U-2 high altitude aircraft near the edge of space was pretty fun. When he gets free time, Dr. Kemp enjoys reading history/military history, going to museums, gardening and spoiling his grandchildren.

Ethan W. Schmidt, JD

Having been born in Kansas City, Missouri my parents and I moved to Pierre, the capital of South Dakota in the summer of 1965 when my father was hired by the South Dakota legislature as Director of the South Dakota Legislative Research Council who drafts legislative bills for the state legislators.  I grew up in Pierre spending lots of time in and around the state capitol building then served as a legislative page in the South Dakota legislature in high school distributing legislative bills and messages for the legislators and staffing the legislative committees and subcommittees.  As for my education, after graduating from Riggs High School in Pierre I earned a BS degree in banking and finance in 1987 at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where I honed my communication skills and began a love for education that eventually led me to teach for National American University.  With my father and my grandfather on my mother’s side being attorneys I continued my education at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks where I earned a Juris Doctorate degree in 1990.  I proudly say that my parents instilled a mentality and philosophy in me that the more education a person can get the better you will be.  One of the best educational experiences I had in law school was attending the University of Norway – Oslo for a summer where I had classes of Comparative Law and Human Rights and International Law through the UND Exchange Program.  The cultural differences and interaction with people in Norway and many other countries that summer was extremely valuable to me in many respects.

My legal career began when I was hired as Assistant South Dakota Attorney General working with state agencies and preparing SD Attorney General Opinions.  Then, when I decided to get into the courtroom I was chosen as Deputy Keith County Attorney in western Nebraska between North Platte and Sidney with the Nebraska interstate highway and large Lake McConaughy with many miles of beautiful sandy beach.  My role included making criminal charging decisions, regular court appearances and represented Keith County in civil matters.  While prosecuting in Nebraska and on-call 24/7 I prepared arrest and search warrants that I presented to the Judge.  I also served as coroner (determining cause of death and time of death and filling out then signing Death Certificates), something I did not anticipate as a youth exploring the South Dakota State Capitol building and fly fishing in the Black Hills.

Returning to South Dakota I joined my father in his law firm he formed in 1972 and (in addition to working with him during summers of law school) he groomed and inspired me regarding the legal process, the search for justice and the importance of evaluating each and every fact to narrow the focus to perform legal research seeking legal authority favorable to the goals of the client – vigorously and passionately advocating for the clients.  A very notable opportunity I accepted was to assist my father representing clients lobbying the South Dakota legislature such as preparing legislative bills requesting a change in South Dakota statutes to benefit the client or to oppose or support specific pieces of legislation attending legislative committee meetings to testify and advocate on behalf of my clients speaking with individual legislators asking for their votes as directed and guided by the client.

Upon moving to Rapid City where my wife was hired as an architect I opened my law office and (now having about 30 years of broad experience practicing law) I have a general practice of civil and criminal cases.  With public service important (lead by example), I served four years on the Rapid City Planning and Zoning Commission (with various city subcommittees), was elected to the Pennington County Commission for a 4-year term (elected by the other commissioners to serve as Chairman for one year to preside over public meetings and set the meeting agenda).  I served on my church finance council, homeowner’s association BOD, and was involved with Rotary and Morning Optimists also volunteering time on the Story Book Island Park BOD.

My career with NAU began in 1998 when I taught for two years at its Ellsworth Air Force Base campus in the classroom, then as flexible with my law office client commitments and lawsuits and its high quality of classes I joined NAU Distance Learning in 2004 and I have taught 745.50 credits to students in classes such as:   (1) Business Law (LA 3100), (2) Business Law (LA 3150), (3) Constitutional Law (CJ 3400), (4) Criminal Law (CJ 2100), (5) International Law (LA 3200),

(6) US Government (PO 2200), (7) Administrative Law (PL 4250), (8) Legal Research II (PL 1350), (9) Real Property (PL 3050), (10) Criminal Justice Capstone (CV 4900), (11) Introduction to Criminal Justice (CJ 1000), and (12) Biomedical Ethics (HU 3050).

I am proud of my many years teaching with the NAU team and being able to make a positive difference in the lives and careers of my students.  Very grateful and honored to be awarded the rank of Professor with NAU and I want to thank my two young adult children Nick and Becca and my wife Kimberly for the support they provide me to my work teaching, and to my fantastic parents for inspiring and challenging me!


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