WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017

Campus community:

Help Wanted:

Perfect University President

Okay, it’s a little longer than that. And much better written. In fact, it’s an excellent representation of the personal qualities, skills and experiences that we crave in the next president of NKU.

You can read the full “presidential profile” here. It’s the official narrative job description that our search firm—Issacson, Miller—will use when soliciting and targeting candidates over the coming weeks.

Many of you will hear familiar voices while reading it. That’s because much of the content arose from comments gathered during the eight listening sessions and from the online survey. (Sincere thanks to all of you who contributed.)

Those comments were the raw material used by the drafting committee in development of the profile. They did their very best to skillfully incorporate all the voices on campus and in the community. As we all know, writing by committee can be, oh, let’s say, challenging. In this case, though, they overcame the challenges and did a fine job of holding up the mirror to catch the best reflection of the NKU community.  

And most critical to this process, they did an outstanding job of making sure the profile represents a look forward to where we need and aspire to be as a university, as opposed to being just a snappy rendition of our past accomplishments.

Enormous thanks to the drafting committee: Faculty Senate Leader Matthew Zacate, faculty member Maureen Doyle, student Monica Molestina, and Regent Dennis Repenning, as well as numerous others who contributed time in pulling this all together.

Being debuted this week in addition to the narrative presidential profile is an upgraded presidential search website, which brings the campus and region to life as we reach out to candidates.

So, now we shift from being skillful gatherers to being aggressive hunters.

During this phase, the search firm will be building our pool of candidates; they will gather, review and interview a long list of successful professionals, which will then be pared down to a shortlist of finalists for further consideration. This list will be presented to the Board of Regents and the interviewing of finalists will commence. Our goal remains to have a new president selected by late October and in place early next year. But as I’ve told you before, finding the very best candidate is more important than the aspirational timeline.

As we move into this next phase, the definitions of “openness” and “transparency” will be front and center.  We know these are critical issues for many of you. They came up often in both the listening sessions and the survey. And, it’s fair to say there is wide range of opinions on what’s the most beneficial strategy when it comes to disclosing the names of those who have shown interest in the job.

Here’s the difficult balance we will try to achieve: We will keep this process as open as possible, while also protecting the identities of potential candidates. Realistically, many successful higher-ed leaders—particularly those currently leading other fine institutions—will be disinclined to step forward initially if the search is completely open. As such, we will continue to do everything we can to keep the campus informed of our progress while also building the most attractive candidate pool.

Bottom line: So far, so good. Our outstanding search committee (thank you!) is doing an excellent job – with help from many of you.

Transitions in leadership are tough. But they also can be opportunities. The Board of Regents and the members of the search committee are committed to ensuring this transition is more of the latter.

Thank you for your patience and support and for all you do for our students.

If you have questions about the search, get in touch with the board or committee at

More to come. Have a great summer.