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Haile/US Bank College of Business Honored with Innovations that Inspire Award 


April 21, 2020— Northern Kentucky University’s Haile/US Bank College of Business has a unique approach to prepare tomorrow’s leaders that is changing the international landscape of business education, according to AACSB International. 

The world’s largest business education network recently named NKU among their Innovations That Inspire challenge winners. This year’s theme—Catalysts for Innovation—emphasized business schools who are elevating entrepreneurial thinking and new business creation for students.

“The demand for innovation that engages experts across disciplines and addresses the needs of both local and global communities has never been more apparent than in these unprecedented times,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. "We are honored to feature Northern Kentucky University for its valuable role in elevating entrepreneurship through research, teaching, and community engagement.”

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Students working with Procter & Gamble

NKU was recognized for The Underground Agency, the only student-owned non-profit marketing strategy program that is fully integrated in college classrooms. Dr. David Raska, an associate professor of Marketing, created the program to help students discover and pursue their dreams. Students who join the firm work with companies like Procter & Gamble and Chipotle Mexican Grill to market to Generation Z and Millennials.

“The Underground Agency is about helping our students and clients discover and courageously pursue their path to success. I’ve always believed in what we are doing, and now we know the highest accrediting institution for business schools believes in us, too,” said Dr. David Raska. “The more of us believe that a college classroom can be an engine of economic empowerment, the greater chance we have to make a more inclusive and economically just world.”

This is the first time NKU has won the Innovations That Inspire challenge.  However, students in The Underground Agency have won numerous awards, including Cincinnati American Marketing Association’s Pinnacle Award five times. 

“We’ve fostered a culture within the Haile/US Bank College of Business that encourages innovative, non-traditional approaches to learning. By pioneering breakthroughs with student-centered education, the college is fulfilling its mission to empower lifelong learners who are agents of change—the key to student success,” said Dean Hassan HassabElnaby, Haile/US Bank College of Business.

With more than 2,000 students, the Haile/US Bank College of Business educates and connects with the region’s business community by delivering globally relevant, innovative and sustainable programs and practices. It is accredited by AACSB-International, a distinction earned by fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide. To learn more about the college’s offerings, visit its website

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