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President Vaidya Welcome Breakfast
Photo by Scott Beseler

July 2, 2018– Northern Kentucky University’s sixth president, Dr. Ashish Vaidya (ah-SHEESH vie-DEE-yuh), kicked off his presidency on July 2 surrounded by the campus community. Nearly 100 faculty and staff gathered at a welcome breakfast to mark President Vaidya’s first day on the job.

NKU announced President Vaidya as the next leader of the university in November 2017. Dr. Vaidya completed his term as interim president of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota in June and is looking forward to what lies ahead at NKU.

“I am excited to join all the wonderful things happening here at NKU, from the sense of innovation and entrepreneurship, to the great public-private partnerships," said President Vaidya. “This morning was a great way to begin my presidency, celebrating with the faculty and staff that are the driving force of this university.”

President Vaidya takes the reins from Gerard St. Amand, who served as NKU’s interim president for the past 14 months. St. Amand postponed his retirement to lead the university when former president Geoffrey Mearns left at the end of his contract. (Click here for details on all of NKU’s past presidents.)

Prior to serving as St. Cloud State’s interim president, Dr. Vaidya served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at St. Cloud State from 2015 to 2016. Previously, he served California State University, Los Angeles, from 2010 to 2015 as provost and vice president for academic affairs, and as special advisor to the president for regional economic development. He also served California State University Channel Islands as dean of the faculty from 2005 to 2010, as the MBA director from 2003 to 2005, and as founding director of the Center for International Affairs from 2004 to 2006. Prior to that, he served as the MBA director for California State University, Los Angeles, from 1997 to 2001. He has served on the faculty of both California State University, Los Angeles, and California State University Channel Islands.

Dr. Vaidya holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai, India), and a master’s and a doctorate from University of California, Davis. He is married to Nita Vaidya, a sociologist. They have two children: Jaanhvi, a management consultant with Accenture; and Avaneesh, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona.

President Vaidya joins the university as NKU celebrates its 50th Anniversary, opens the Health Innovation Center and engages in new projects such as the partnership with St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the UK College of Medicine to establish a northern Kentucky medical campus. For more on NKU’s history or information on the university, visit our website at

About NKU:  Northern Kentucky University is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018! Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information on our 50th, visit