By Jack Brammer
Northern Kentucky University is looking for a new president.
It was announced late Thursday at a special meeting of the university’s regent council that Ashish Vaidya would be leaving as president on December 19. He assumed the post on July 1, 2018, as the sixth president of NKU.
It was not stated in the meeting why Vaidya was leaving but a later news release from the university said the board and he “decided that it was time for a leadership transition as the university embarked on a years-long repositioning effort in response to the changes. market and financial pressures impact all higher education.”
There was no further explanation regarding the departure statement. Vaidya and his colleague, Dr. Nita Vaidya, plans to return to their home state of California.
Vaidya, in a statement, said, “It has been a privilege and honor to preside over this university for the past four and a half years.
“Thanks to the hard work of the lecturers, staff and students, I believe significant progress has been made over the last few years. Driven by Success by Design, we have achieved record retention and pass rates, strong results in the Commonwealth performance funding model, completed the most influential capital campaign in our history and successfully resolved an unsustainable retirement crisis.
“The fact that we are executing on so many fronts, while navigating a global pandemic, speaks volumes about the resilience and resilience of this institution.”
Vaidya says Nita and he have been away from California for almost eight years now and are ready to come back to where we are from and explore opportunities there.
“I want to thank Chairman Rich Boehne and members of the board for this opportunity. Nita and I thank the community for welcoming us to this region as well.”
The public portion of Thursday’s board meeting lasted less than 10 minutes, adopting a resolution on Vaidya’s exit. Then went into a closed session to discuss personnel but did no more business.
Several members thank Vaidya for his work in NKU.
“On behalf of the Board of Regents, I would like to thank Ashish for his myriad achievements at NKU, and also express my deep appreciation to Nita and the whole family for the sacrifices they have made over the past four and a half years. half a year serving our mission, our students, and this region,” said board chairman Rich Boehne.
“We know that transitions in leadership can be difficult, and often distressing, but when seen as an opportunity, transitions can serve to reinforce our most important goals and accelerate our efforts to achieve them. We would not pass up this opportunity for NKU, as it so often does in its first 50 years of adventure, to focus on the future and boldly demonstrate its commitment to changing lives and uplifting our entire community.”
At NKU, Vaidya tries to include the voices of the campus and community in discussions about the future of the university.
He also focused on increasing NKU’s commitment to equality, inclusion and diversity, creating the position of chief diversity officer and establishing the position of chief strategy officer to support NKU’s core values and goals.
Vaidya will not only save the university’s retirement money for long-term employees, it will also save the university more than $73 million in termination fees which will result in annual savings on bond payments of around $4 million. Its active presence in Frankfort has also resulted in NKU’s elevation in the Commonwealth Performance Funding Model.
During his time as chairman of NKU, Vaidya has raised the university’s profile with his work as chairman of the Horizon League Board of Directors, on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, on the Board of the Cincinnati Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Board of Directors and as part of EAB’s Moon Shot for Equity.
“Nita and I have been away from California for almost eight years now and we are ready to return home and explore opportunities there,” said Dr. Ashish Vaidya.
Vaidya comes to NKU as interim president of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. He took over from Gerard St. Amand, who served as interim president of NKU for 14 months. St Amand postponed his retirement to lead the university when former president Geoffrey Mearns left at the end of his contract.
Prior to serving as interim president of St. Cloud State, Vaidya served as chancellor and vice president of academic affairs at St. Cloud State from 2015 to 2016. Previously, he served at California State University, Los Angeles, from 2010 to 2015 as chancellor and deputy. president for academic affairs, and as special adviser to the president for regional economic development.
He also served as dean of faculty at California State University Channel Islands from 2005 to 2010, as director of the MBA from 2003 to 2005, and as founding director of the Center for International Affairs from 2004 to 2006. Previously, he served as MBA Director for California State University, Los Angeles, from 1997 to 2001. He has served on the faculties of California State University, Los Angeles, and California State University Channel Islands.
Vaidya holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai, India), and Masters and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Davis.
Founded in 1968, NKU is a public university of more than 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff near Highland Heights and about seven miles southeast of Cincinnati.