Dear Campus Community:
Northern Kentucky University has a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion that is embedded in all facets of our campus. It is a defining characteristic that makes me proud to serve as president of this university whose faculty and staff are focused on helping our students lead meaningful lives and successful careers. We believe our students, faculty and staff benefit from a rich environment of thought and experience that is gained by welcoming people from all backgrounds and perspectives.
Recent remarks made by the founder of the pizza chain Papa John’s are offensive, hurtful and unacceptable and do not reflect the core values of NKU. Because of this, we have asked our external food services partner, Chartwells, to remove the franchise from our campus. Our commitment to diversity and inclusivity is a fundamental part of what makes NKU great, and we expect all of our business associations to align with these values. I know that Chartwells Higher Education takes pride in creating a campus dining program that embraces diversity, inclusion and respect and is committed to working with partners who share these same values. Chartwells will replace the current franchise with an in-house service that will serve a pizza-based menu in time for the start of the fall semester. All current employees are Chartwell's employees and will retain their jobs. During the fall, we will seek campus input before determining a permanent franchise for the Student Union.
We are proud of what NKU stands for and we will continue to foster an environment where all are given an opportunity to learn and thrive.
Ashish K. Vaidya
Ashish K. Vaidya, Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University
800 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099