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NKU Hosts CPE President Dr. Aaron Thompson

Dr. Aaron Thompson

September 23, 2019— Northern Kentucky University hosted Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) President Dr. Aaron Thompson as part of his statewide listening tour on August 28 and 29.

Dr. Thompson began his tour earlier this year to gain a fresh perspective of how public higher education can better serve Kentucky. He spent his time at NKU engaging students, university leadership and community members about key issues impacting college access, student success, workforce quality and transitions to career.

“One of the most interesting things about students is we need to listen to them. They come from all different places and knowledge. We need to make them a co-facilitator with their education,” said Dr. Thompson. “Sometimes we still do education like everyone is 19, living in a dorm room. Learning isn’t done in a modular way anymore and we have to do a better job of understand that.”

The face-to-face conversations help CPE to review the Commonwealth’s higher education system and engage more degree seeking students. Dr. Thompson’s key initiatives align with NKU’s Success by Design strategic framework, which identified the university’s singular focus on advancing student success with the needs of the region.

“We need to ask, how can the commonwealth be more student ready? Our students aren’t holding back their dreams, but that path can become difficult to navigate,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “For the longest time, higher education has focused on overcoming deficits. We haven’t done enough to think about policy, procedures and structures that create these boundaries for our students, not only at NKU, but across Kentucky.”

Dr. Thompson is CPE’s fourth president in October 2018.  He concludes his statewide tour this fall after visiting Moreheade State University, Eastern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. For more information on his tour, visit here

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