Skip to main content
NKU Campus Spring

March 15, 2023 - Today, the Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents approved the next steps in the selection process for its next permanent president announcing the presidential search leadership team and appointing a Presidential Search Committee (PSC). 

Members of each includes faculty, staff, students, regents, and community partners. 

“Each member of the presidential search leadership team brings with them a unique perspective and diverse viewpoint, which will prove valuable for NKU and its next leader. The team is honored to serve in this capacity for NKU and is looking forward to beginning the next stage of the search process – conducting listening sessions and forums in order to build out the presidential profile. The internal and external stakeholders’ commitment to providing perspectives will be vital to our process and each person’s collective passion for the continued success of NKU,” expressed Kara Williams, Secretary of the NKU Board of Regents and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee.

The primary charge to the leadership team is to provide the Board of Regents with information that will assist the Board in selecting the university’s next president. Specifically, the team will:

  • Conduct a national search to generate a strong pool of candidates for the presidency of NKU.
  • Use virtual and in-person forums to solicit from various constituent groups their perspectives about the leadership needs of NKU.
  • Reduce the pool of applicants to a reasonable number of semi-finalists.
  • Gather additional information about each semi-finalist (e.g., interview data, reference checks, etc.).
  • Host local visits for finalists (if desired by the candidates).
  • Ensure that all semi-finalists and finalists receive accurate and thorough information about NKU.
  • Work closely with the search firm and advisory groups to assist NKU’s presidential search.
  • Carry out all responsibilities in the best interests of the university, regardless of the constituent group with which one most strongly identifies.
  • Submit to the Board of Regents a list of exceptional candidates who warrant the Board’s consideration to serve as NKU’s next president. 

“The selection of the next president will be a critical decision for the Board of Regents, I am confident that the search leadership team will oversee a process that brings forth the strongest candidates excited to lead this university. I know that the team will do so with the highest degree of care and responsibility, consistent with shared governance, and the best traditions of this institution,” shared Rich Boehne, chair of the NKU Board of Regents. 

WittKieffer, the global executive search and leadership advisory firm, will conduct the national search of interested candidates. Once the Board of Regents approved the search process today, the presidential search site was launched, which includes robust information about NKU, the region, and students, faculty and staff. As the leadership team commences, the next phase of the search process will include building the presidential profile and post the position. 

To learn more about the presidential search, visit its webpage


Search Committee:

Marquita Barron, NKU Director of Training & Development

Dr. Janel Bloch, NKU Professor, English

Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, NKU Dean, Haile College of Business

Ashley Himes*, NKU Regent, Student Services Coordinator at Regional School Programs

Candace McGraw, Chief Executive Officer, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

Julia Pohl, Sports Business & Event Management Major, NKU Student

JT Roberts*, Owner of DDX Transport

Nathan Smith*, NKU Vice Chair BOR, Chief Investment Officer at Flagship Communities LC

Elizabeth Thompson, NKU Search Vice Chair and Regent, Member at Stites & Harbison LLC

Tom Wiedemann*, NKU Foundation President, President and CEO of AAA Club Alliance

Kara Williams*, NKU Search Chair and Secretary of BOR, Owner of The Marketing Collective

Brad Zapp, NKU Regent, Managing Director of Connetic Ventures  


Advisory Board:

Rensha Allen*, NKU Black Alumni Council President, Allstate Agency

Brandon Billiter*, NKU Director of Student Account Services

Mike Borchers*, Local Superintendents Advisory Council, Superintendent Ludlow City Schools

Dr. David Childs, NKU Associate Professor, College of Education

Brent Cooper, President, NKY Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Charlisa Daniels, NKU Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Jacqueline Emerine, NKU Associate Professor, Communication

Dr. John Farrar, NKU Faculty Senate President, Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Fernando Figueroa, President, Gateway Community & Technical College

Lauren Goodwin*, NKU Chase College of Law, Student

Staci Green*, NKU Director of IT Support Services, President of SAFE

Karen Mefford*, NKU Interim Comptroller

Darryl Peal, NKU Chief Diversity Officer

Steve Pendery, Campbell County Judge Executive

Dr. Sandra Spataro, NKU Professor of Management, College of Business

Jennifer Sheffel*, NKU Alumni Council President, President and CEO at Summit ActionCOACH

Steve Slone*, NKU Staff Congress President, Manager of Mail and Copy Services 


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