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NKU Moves Forward with Success by Design Framework

The Board of Regents Unanimously Approves NKU’s Strategic Framework


April 11, 2019— Northern Kentucky University unveils Success by Design, its three-year strategic framework for the university’s future. The Board of Regents unanimously approved the framework during a special meeting on April 9. 

Success by Design is a living document that will serve as a roadmap for NKU to increase access, achieve higher levels of completion, and advance opportunities for career and community engagement for all learners. The vision is for NKU to be a student-ready and regionally engaged university that empowers diverse learners for economic and social mobility.   

“The higher education landscape is changing as we speak. We must redefine and reclaim the narrative about the significance of a 21st century public institution and the value of a college education. This means not just understanding that our students have commitments and responsibilities off campus, but being responsive as the real world impacts their academic lives,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “All the little things that we do as a university must add up to one feeling that supports our vision, and everyone on campus—from our faculty, staff and the administration—must embrace their role in achieving this.”

Under each of the three pillars of student success—access, completion and career and community engagement—there are specific goals and measurable objectives. NKU will soon identify major initiatives and form teams to begin implementing the plan. As the framework builds out, President Vaidya plans to engage the campus and community, just as the university did when developing the plan.    

“I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the process through our TalkShops and online surveys. Your feedback allowed us to develop Success by Design collaboratively and will be critical moving forward to ensure NKU continues to innovate and adapt as our region and our world evolves,” said President Vaidya. “Together, we will achieve great things through collaboration, creativity and persistence—singularly focused on advancing student success aligned with the needs of our region.”

In October 2018, NKU launched the Success by Design strategic framework process to shape the university’s future after the completion of the Fuel the Flame strategic plan. It also took a unique approach to master planning by utilizing design thinking principles to identify strategic goals and objectives and Vijay Govindarajan’s “Three Box Solution” to begin determining specific projects and initiatives. The development of this framework—in an expedited timeframe—represents the work of faculty, staff, students, and community members who have many hours to the process. Click here to view the Success by Design framework, and visit its website for more details on the process.

About NKU:  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, visit