MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

Dear NKU Community and Friends,

Here's an update on the presidential search process.

The committee has selected Isaacson-Miller as the external firm that will aid in our nationwide search for the university’s next president. They are very familiar with our university, having helped recruit several current senior academic leaders to NKU. Their direct experience and knowledge affords them an uncommon ability to identify candidates that could be a good fit to serve as our president. 

Our goal is to find and hire the very best candidate for the position. How we handle the process itself could play a huge role in improving the odds of success.

That’s why we’re beginning with broad information gathering; opportunities for all to contribute to both the job description and the candidate profile that will drive our aggressive, proactive, nationwide search.  The upcoming campus and community listening sessions are essential opportunities to influence the outcome. Search committee members are also your delegates to the process. Let them know what you expect.

I have charged the search committee with the task of ensuring that the process is inclusive and the pool of candidates is both deep and diverse. Inclusiveness is one of the university’s core values and has been a particular source of strength for the campus community these past few years. It will also serve to guide the search committee as they identify the qualities necessary for consideration. 

Inclusiveness is one of the university’s core values and has been a particular source of strength for the campus community these past few years. It will also serve to guide the search committee as they identify the qualities necessary for consideration. 

Just as the search committee and board will be taking a broad look at all candidates, I would encourage you to use a similarly wide lens when thinking about what you’d like to see in our next president. Although everyone comes from a different corner of the university, one thing that binds us together is that we all care deeply about NKU and the community it serves. I hope that this will be a guiding principle for us all as we go through the search process together.   

Once the search committee distills, weighs and balances the desired attributes of our next president (no doubt accepting, reluctantly, that “perfect” is not likely to be a reasonable expectation), the search begins in earnest. This is when the search consultant really earns its keep, scanning for candidates and matching the desired qualities and experiences. It’s possible that the best candidate is not looking for a job or has never heard of NKU. It’s also possible that the best candidate will show interest unsolicited, or be someone right under our nose, or someone who will be nominated for the role by one of you.

To ensure we gather the most attractive and appropriate pool of talented and diverse higher education leaders, we’ll give the search committee and firm the latitude necessary to protect the names of those who have interest in the position.

The committee will dedicate a chunk of its summer to reviewing and ultimately interviewing candidates. They will then recommend a shortlist of finalists to the board of regents. Depending upon the sensitivities of the actual candidates, they may or may not be available for open forums in the final phase of the process. We won’t know until we get closer how we’ll handle the final stretch. Most critical, though, is that we manage our process to produce the very best candidates. Flexibility could be key to securing the most appropriate president for NKU.

As I said at the beginning, first up are the listening sessions where we gather your feedback and ideas. Members of the presidential search committee and search firm will be present to facilitate these discussions. See the dates below for your respective listening session.

Faculty listening sessions
Monday, April 10 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm in University Center 270, Otto Budig Theater (no food or drinks inside)
Thursday, April 20 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm in Student Union 109

Staff listening sessions
Tuesday, April 11 from 9:30am – 10:30am in University Center 270, Otto Budig Theater (no food or drinks inside)
Wednesday, April 19 from 2:30pm – 3:30pm in Student Union 108

Student listening sessions
Tuesday, April 11 from 2:15pm – 3:15pm in University Center 270, Otto Budig Theater (no food or drinks inside)
Wednesday, April 19 from 3:30pm – 4:30pm in Student Union 108

Community listening sessions
Monday, April 10 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm at Gateway Community & Technical College Convening Center – Boone County Campus, 500 Technology Way, Florence, KY 41042. Parking is free (directions attached)
Wednesday, April 19 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm at NKU Campus Student Union 108. Please park in the Kenton Garage. Parking will be validated. (directions and details attached)

I can’t stress enough how valuable these sessions are to the search process. Depending on how the process plays out, this will likely be the best opportunity for the firm and the committee to hear directly from you. We sincerely hope you’ll be able to join us.  

If you have any questions about the listening sessions, please email regents@nku.edu. More to come.

See you soon.

Rich