Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017

Dear NKU Community & Friends,

It is with deep regret that I inform you that Geoff Mearns will be leaving NKU to become president of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

On behalf of the Board of Regents, I would like to thank Geoff for his tireless work to move our university forward over the past five years. Under his strong and steady leadership, we have achieved new heights in academic success, advocacy, and athletics. We are truly on the rise as we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2018. Please join me in thanking Geoff and wishing he, Jennifer, and the entire Mearns family well in this new chapter in their lives.

Geoff will be deeply missed not only on our campus, but across the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where his leadership and hard work have paid real dividends for higher education. The board had been actively engaged in securing Geoff’s continued service here at NKU when he let us know of his interest in the Ball State position late last week.

Here on campus, as confirmed by the recently-concluded comprehensive assessment of his performance, Geoff worked skillfully to improve our level of state funding and managed difficult budget decisions, all the while keeping us focused on long-term goals such as advancing student success, expanding the overall educational experience we provide, and furthering our unwavering commitment to improving the lives of all students.

Geoff, Jennifer and their children have also become part of our family, and it’ll be hard to see them pack up the truck for Muncie.

We will miss Geoff’s leadership. However, the success we have seen in recent years has been made possible through a bold and determined collective effort by all of you. We have become an institution of first choice for students from across the region, the state, and the nation. And our graduates go on to have a profound impact on the region and far beyond. Our future is bright.

Now, our job is to work together to build upon the successes of Geoff’s time here at NKU and find ways to use this transition as an opportunity and a launching pad for even better days ahead. 

The Board of Regents is moving rapidly to launch a search for his successor, and we will be calling on some of you to help with this critically important process. We anticipate having more information to share over the coming weeks, including the timing of Geoff’s departure, the naming of an interim president, and the creation of a presidential search committee. I will keep you informed throughout this process.

Thank you for all that you do to serve our students. If you have questions or comments, you can always get in touch with the board through the Office of the President at 572-5123 or by emailing regents@nku.edu.

See you soon.

Rich