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Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Last week, Provost Wells informed me that, after nine years of dedicated service as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, she wishes to, as she said, “step up the faculty.”  As provost, Gail has played a significant role in the progress the university has made over the last decade.  Among many other initiatives, her leadership has been instrumental in the creation of the College of Informatics, the increase in graduate programs including the university’s first doctoral programs, the emphasis on undergraduate research, the integration of public engagement in the curriculum and the fabric of the university, and the effective use of technology in instruction.  She has also provided great assistance to me during my transition.

Gail’s decision was prompted by a variety of factors, including her passion for teaching and scholarship and her desire to have more flexibility to be with her husband, Charles, and their children and grandchildren in Paris, France, and northern California.

Gail also believes that, as we collectively develop our University’s next strategic plan, which will guide us for the next five years, it is appropriate to transition to a new academic leader who can commit to the long-term implementation of the plan.

In order for us to have sufficient time to conduct a national search for her successor, Gail has agreed to serve as provost until January 1, 2014.  In the meantime, after consultation with the faculty and other academic leaders, I will appoint a committee to assist in searching for Gail’s successor as provost and chief academic officer.

I know you join me in thanking Gail for her dedicated service as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost.  And, in time, we will find appropriate ways to express our appreciation to her for her contributions and service.


Geoffrey S. Mearns
Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Drive
800 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099

Phone: 859-572-5123
Fax: 859-572-6696