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NKU Selected for Two National Initiatives to Improve Civic Engagement, Financial Literacy


Oct. 1, 2021 — Northern Kentucky University is participating in two initiatives by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) that will improve economic literacy in students and help build strong campus-community partnerships. Both year-long initiatives involve hundreds of colleges and universities sharing resources across the nation.

The first initiative, Re-Imagining Campus–Community Partnerships, will help colleges and universities deepen their engagement work with community partners, especially during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will identify engagement trends and patterns and allow to NKU learn from other institutions and share our most impactful community engagement practices, unique educational goals as well as common objectives across participating institutions.

“This past year, we saw tremendous change with how citizens interact and become civically engaged in their communities,” said Samantha Langley, vice provost for graduate education, research and outreach. “It's important for us to take a deep dive into how civic engagement has changed within the past year to help us deepen and strengthen our regional engagement."

In the second initiative, the Economic Literacy Project, NKU will work with other colleges to improve students' knowledge of the United States National Debt, fiscal policy and financial literacy.  

“Helping students understand the importance of money and finances is incredibly vital to their societal roles after graduation,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Bahrani, NKU economics professor at the Haile College of Business. “From understanding their personal budgets to the fiscal policy of the United States, finances play a huge role in everyday life.”

NKU’s President Ashish Vaidya has been a long-standing and active member of AASCU. In addition to being appointed to AASCU’s Board of Directors, he also serves on the association’s Committee on Workforce and Economic Development and has also chaired its Research Engagement and Research Council. Vaidya represented NKU at AASCU’s Annual Meeting in 2018, where he joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Keeping the Promise of Public Higher ED” podcast.

AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities and systems. Like NKU, these institutions embrace a student-centered culture that strives to deliver on the American promise of access, affordability and educational opportunity. To learn more, visit AASCU’s website.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit