Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey S. Mearns sent the following message to the campus community Thursday afternoon:
I write to inform you that, effective November 30, 2015, the University will end its lease of the METS Center and discontinue management of the facility. This decision was made in consultation with St. Elizabeth Healthcare, and Corporex, which operates the Center.
There are two principal reasons for this decision.
First, our strategic plan requires us to review all of our activities for quality, relevance, and sustainability. When METS opened in 2003, we anticipated that it would benefit the community by attracting corporate training events from around the country. For a variety of reasons outside of our control, the operation of the METS Center has required a substantial University subsidy for many years. Given state budget cuts and constrained University resources, we can no longer justify this subsidy.
Second, several months ago, the leadership of St. Elizabeth Healthcare approached me and expressed interest in using the METS Center to conduct employee education and professional training to further its mission of providing best-in-class healthcare to our region.
With our full support, St. Elizabeth engaged in negotiations with Corporex, which owns the METS Center. As a result, I am pleased to share that St. Elizabeth Healthcare will acquire the lease of the METS Center and develop a dedicated training and professional development facility for its associates. We value our partnership with St. Elizabeth, and we believe that this new use of the METS Center will be a substantial benefit to our community.
I commend the staff at the METS Center for their excellent performance. They have provided a quality experience for the organizations that have used this facility over the years.
During this transition period, our Human Resources staff will assist the four affected employees with opportunities at either NKU or St. Elizabeth. We are also working proactively with organizations that have reserved the Center for events after November 30 to help them find a suitable alternative.
We remain committed to being responsible stewards of our resources and good community partners. Thank you for all that you do for our students and for our University.