TUESDAY, FEB. 14, 2017

Campus community:

Since Geoff’s announcement last month that he plans to leave NKU, the Board has made significant progress on the transition process. I have some news to share with you today.

I am happy to say that Geoff will continue to serve as the president through Spring Commencement on May 7. Well before that, however, we intend to name an interim president who will step in until the new president is named.

The Board of Regents has full confidence in the ability of our academic and administrative leaders to maintain the university’s momentum during this brief time of change at the top. The needs and dreams of our students march forward, at an ever-increasing pace, and those of us charged with guiding the ship intend to deliver on our promises to them during this or any other transition.   

To that end, we are already soliciting search firms to assist us in locating the best candidates for the job. That’s done in the form of a public “Request For Proposal” or “RFP” for short. Proposals will begin streaming in the next few days. I’m confident our reputation will attract interest from some of the top search firms in higher education.

I can also share that Regent Norm Desmarais has agreed to chair the search committee. Norm’s professional experience and personal commitment to NKU make him a terrific choice. Norm is the chairman and founding partner of the Covington-based tech firm Tier1 Performance Solutions. His wife and two daughters are graduates of NKU, and he joined the Board last June.

Norm will guide the search process, but he won’t be working alone. He will be in touch soon with faculty, staff, students, and members of our community as we build out the search committee. This is important work, and also time consuming. I hope those of you asked to participate will be willing and eager to help select the next president of our outstanding university.

We also need your input as we draft the job description for the next president. You’ll soon see an extensive schedule of open forms on and off campus to gather feedback from the entire NKU community. We also have the results from the recent presidential assessment, which will be helpful as we craft the profile. This period of information gathering is one of the most critical phases of the search. Transitions, although stressful, provide an opportunity to recalibrate and consider what traits and experiences are most critical for our next president.

What’s next?

The Board’s goal is to secure a president whose talents best fit with NKU’s aspirations for the future. Brief or long. Whatever it takes to achieve our goals.

The target schedule outlined in the RFP calls for naming a search firm in early March; information-gathering in the late March and early April; targeting and interviewing candidates over the summer; and concluding the process early in the fall semester. An aggressive schedule? Yes. But we are confident it can be achieved.

So, much to do but we’re on our way.