“Cady’s experience in leading organizational transformation during times of dramatic external change make her a great choice for NKU in 2023 and the years to come. It’s also a huge added advantage that she knows well our campus community and the region, and she in fact credits mission-driven NKU for building the foundation of her career in higher ed leadership.”
- Richard A. Boehne, Board of Regents, Chair
“It’s a privilege to have been a part of the process that recognized Dr. Cady Short-Thompson as NKU’s next President. Her dedication to academic excellence and commitment to student success coupled with her readiness to dig in and tackle difficult challenges with a collaborative and innovative leadership style will undoubtedly inspire and elevate all of Northern Kentucky.”
- Kara Williams, Board of Regents, Secretary
“She is perfectly matched for the time. I think the match between Cady’s strengths and what this institution needs at this point in history could not be surer,” Votruba commented. “She’s gonna lift and elevate and inspire and get us ready, not to look backward but to look forward.”
- James C. Votruba, former President of NKU
“I believe the new president will bring a new energy to the campus that has been in desperate need of a revitalization, and I know she will rally the troops to get NKU out of crisis. She is a natural leader; she is goal oriented and determined to help NKU in every way she’s said she would. I’m happy that she’s our new president.”
- Isaiah Phillips, Board of Regents
"We welcome the news that Dr. Cady Short-Thompson, a faculty member who got her start at NKU, is our new President. She’s one of us. Faculty are ready to work with Cady as we continue to tackle the challenges here and sharpen our focus on student success. We also extend heartfelt thanks to Bonita Brown for her compassionate leadership as NKU’s interim president."
- John Farrar, Chemistry, Associate Professor
"The enthusiasm and energy surrounding Cady Short-Thompson are palpable across the campus and the region. She has a steadfast commitment to student success and I am excited to partner with her to continue charting NKU’s path into the future."
- Bonita Brown, Interim President of NKU
"When I learned of Cady Short-Thompson’s appointment as the next president of Northern Kentucky University, I was ecstatic to hear this wonderful news. Her new appointment is so well-deserved! Our paths crossed many years ago when Cady was a faculty member at NKU, and I was a dean at Xavier University. However, it was through my service on the board of a non-profit organization, Breakthrough Cincinnati, under her leadership as the CEO and Executive Director that I recognized she is a gem. Cady’s execution of work was flawless, and her commitment and passion were inspirational and contagious. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Cady.
The NKU presidency affords Cady an incredible opportunity to use her impressive skills, talents, experience and background to advance the mission and vision of an institution she knows well and cares deeply about. I believe that her strategic, forward-thinking style of leadership, which seamlessly interweaves inclusive engagement, broad collaboration and deep listening, is perfectly suited for her new role. Cady will shine more brightly in the future than she does already. I look forward to seeing her embrace the joys and challenges of the presidency at NKU and accomplish great things with grace, humility and distinction."
- Janice Walker, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus (Mathematics) at Xavier University & Former
VP for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at Xavier University
"What would I say about Cady Short-Thompson? There are so many great things to say about Cady it is hard to recite all of them. I had the honor to work with Cady at the University of Cincinnati. She is smart, engaging, honest and warm. What makes her really special is her ability to look at issues from many vantage points. While she may have an opinion, she is open to hearing others and compromising when possible. Cady is known for collaborating and bringing people together. Working with Cady is exciting because you are bound to learn something not just about the work you are doing but about Cady. My first interaction with Cady was when I was invited to speak to her senior leadership team at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash Campus. Not only was she committed to working with me and my staff, her goal was to build an alliance that would benefit not just Blue Ash but the entire University. I cannot neglect to mention she baked the best chocolate chip cookies for the meeting.
Everything Cady touches she leaves it better than she found it. She is passionate about everyone being able to have a good education and understands that she is an intricate part of that experience. NKU is getting a President who’s ethical and wants to do the right thing. To know Cady iis to trust her. Cady learns quickly and multitasking is just one more thing she is great at.
I would be remiss in not mentioning Cady’s infectious laugh. Once you experience it you want to hear it more. Cady knows how to be calm in a storm and is someone who will have your back.
Cady will ask all the right questions and is willing to teach as well as learn. Getting the chance to work along side Cady is an honor. She has all the qualities you would want in a leader that will take you to the next level.
NKU community should expect great innovative things from Cady so sit back and enjoy because the best is yet to come.
- Kenya Mack, former Attorney/Ethics & Compliance Officer Specialist
"It is an honor and privilege to know Dr. Cady Short-Thompson! She is one of the most humble, intelligent, and genuine persons I have ever known. I first met Cady while serving on the search team for a new Dean of UC Blue Ash college. She lit up the room with her effervescent smile when she entered the interview session and proceeded to talk to us with such great passion about her love for education and the skills she would offer to the college. Her energy and skill level were quite impressive and a perfect match for the college. As Dean, Cady successfully led and developed programs and opportunities for her students. She constantly sought and implemented new ideas that would enhance students' experiences at the college and focused on preparing them for the next stage in their lives. She was masterful at team building and drilling down to the core of a problem that needed to be solved. And Cady recognized the power of relationships, always encouraging students to engage with her and to share their voice and thoughts.
UC Blue Ash College was one of few colleges in the state to share a campus with an elementary school. As principal of that school, Cady and I collaborated on ways to take advantage of this unique physical location and soon had elementary students attending some instructional time in her buildings. That in itself is a testament to her nature of thinking outside the box to enhance the educational experience for all children. She often asked the question- what if...? That enthusiasm, energy and positive outlook was and still is contagious and makes others want to serve with her and work hard.
Due to sheer respect for Cady, I served on her advisory boards while she was a Dean at UC Blue Ash and during her tenure at Breakthrough Cincinnati. She consistently gives 100% of her time and commitment to whatever she is doing. She is personable, skillful, resourceful, and smart. NKU is so fortunate to have Cady as its 7th President. There is no doubt that NKU will continue to thrive and reach new heights with Dr. Cady Short-Thompson at the helm."
- Adrienne James, Ed.D., Former Superintendent Sycamore Community Schools
"I CANNOT be more encouraged with Cady-Short-Thompson taking the helm, as leader, and next NKU President. Having worked with Cady, she brings an impeccable and admirable balance of integrity, candor, humility, and expertise to the work she does. Cady's strategic thinking combined with a willingness to roll up her sleeves are qualities that any organization would be privileged to have."
- Tysonn Betts, Design Vice President; Procter & Gamble, BTC Board Director
"I had the honor and privilege of serving with Cady Short-Thompson at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to being an outstanding Dean at the UC Blue Ash College, she also served as Chair of the UC Council of Deans, where she did a masterful job of working together with the deans to advance the goals and priorities of the university.
Cady is a person of absolute integrity, coupled with incredible enthusiasm and energy. She also loves the area, and has a distinguished history of service at NKU. In addition, Cady has kids at UC and U-M, so she has great taste in universities!
Cady is exactly what Northern Kentucky University needs, and I cannot think of a better person to lead the university. "
- Santa Ono, President, University of Michigan
"Great college presidents are great in three ways: they exude integrity; they teach strategy; and they keep score.
Integrity is everything for Cady. She is honest, transparent and sincere—even, and especially, when doing so is difficult. She makes tough decisions based on principles, not on politics or popularity. She builds organizations from the ground up by creating a culture of ownership.
Cady is a strategist. She never fails to see the big picture. She thinks in questions. She works upstream, both anticipating and fixing problems at the source. And she is a great communicator of the why, how and so what.
Cady has a knack for creating momentum. She is remarkably astute in sizing up a situation, promptly discerning what is working well and what needs help. She knows how to use the right data in the right ways to drive change. Great presidents play for championship rings, not MVP trophies. Cady is the consummate team player.
I have long thought Cady would make a great college president. She can manage complexity. She can create clarity. She can see around the corner. She can build alignment. She can lead by example. She can coach for results. And, most importantly, she always makes it about others—about their needs, their growth and their dreams.
My only wish is that higher education had more leaders like her."
- Ryan Hays, Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer at the University of Cincinnati
"I could not be more excited to see Dr. Cady Short-Thompson appointed President of NKU. I am an alumna of NKU (’93) as are my four sisters and dozens of cousins, and my nephew is now a student there. I have seen firsthand and many times over, the transformative power of an NKU education to individuals’ life trajectories and to the region.
NKU has to be successful for this region to be successful, and that is why I know that Cady is the right person to lead this institution. I met her in 2010, when I was on the search committee who hired her to serve as Dean of UC Blue Ash College. In those initial meetings, I kept thinking “Wow! I want to work with this woman!” for the energy, the positivity, and intelligence she brought to every interaction. I was not disappointed.
Over the next seven years, Cady made huge improvements to the college. She grew enrollments, cleaned up inefficient processes, improved our reputation, hired great people, and re-envisioned our facilities. It’s not just what she accomplished, but how she accomplished these things that is so impressive. I was fortunate to work with her closely in leadership roles at UC Blue Ash. She relied on data, a vision of the future of the institution, and applied fairness and compassion to her decisions. She brought energy, positivity, and even fun to the hard work of academic administration. When she left to assume her next position as Provost of Hope College and I was chosen as the next Dean, I aspired to take many lessons from working with her. I know that she will give and demand a lot from everyone at NKU, and I’m absolutely positive that she will lead my alma mater into a very bright future."
- Robin Lightner, Dean UC Blue Ash (Cady’s successor at UC Blue Ash)
"Cady Short-Thompson has been a longtime professional associate and friend. As the founding chair of the College of Informatics’s Dean’s Advisory Board back in 2006 I got to work with Cady as one of the Department Chairs of the new college. While I could clearly see Cady’s extraordinary talents, I didn’t fully appreciate the depth and breadth of her skills, passion, and energy until I became a member of her UC Blue Ash Advisory Board. I served with her for her entire seven year term and supported her move to Hope College.
I had decided to write the couple of paragraphs covering the fantastic 7 year ride with her as she led the change Raymond Walters to the UCBA institution she made it. Then I read the article in the Enquirer this morning and don’t believe I can say anymore than that well written survey of what she did there. Frankly, all anyone needed to do to clearly see that she was the ideal candidate to serve as Northern Kentucky University’s President was to spend an hour with her in person, listen to her, and review her UCBA accomplishments. Hiring her as the 7th NKU President was a no-brainer."
- Frank Caccamo, the Founding Chairman of the College of Informatics Deans Advisory Board.
"Cady has the rare combination of true expertise in the field of education, plus a warm and caring heart. Cady led Breakthrough Cincinnati through complex dynamics from COVID to program expansion into three sites. She led the organization with a steady hand while emphasizing the need for change and flexibility. She fosters mission-oriented success.
While Breakthrough Cincinnati will miss Cady's leadership, she prepared us well for our next level of growth. She left our team, students, families and teachers with the inspiration to do more for our community. We look forward to advancing education for all in the years ahead."
- Jane Garvey, Chairman of the Board, Breakthrough Cincinnati
"I have experienced and watched Cady Short-Thompson for 12 years from three different perspectives.
I was Editor and Vice President of The Cincinnati Enquirer, which reported on important developments of all of the regional colleges and universities, including UC Blue Ash, which she led at that time.
I was parent to a student in her institution.
And after I left The Enquirer, I was Cady’s executive coach when she joined an executive leadership cohort I led.
Cady is committed to her own ongoing development as a leader and business executive. Cady was a confident and humble “student” of our executive group, soaking up and using what she learned from our workshops and from other members. She listened well and asked smart questions to get below the surface to the underlying real issue. With a balanced, mature tone, Cady challenged members to reflect on the principles and ethics shaping their decision making.
At UC Blue Ash when my daughter arrived, the faculty and staff all the way up to Cady’s office sought out and embraced the students who had more questions than answers coming into college. Faculty got personally involved. Cady herself was accessible and relatable. Her focus really was to send these young people out into the world brighter and more prepared.
I stayed close to Cady during her time at Hope College and Breakthrough Cincinnati. The connective tissue in all of her work has been her belief in the potential of students no matter where they start. Belief in the positive intentions and impact of her faculty and contribution of her staff. Her belief that her organization must be a great partner and build mutually beneficial relationships in the community in which it sits. Belief that higher education is changing and needs to adapt programmatically and financially. And belief that leading organizations like these is a family affair — she and her husband Steve commit together and get involved together.
Cady is one of the finest leaders I know and a true delight as a human being."
- Carolyn Washburn, Chair, Vistage executive groups