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Dear Colleagues:

Below is the summary of the presentations and activity that took place at the regularly scheduled Board of Regents meeting on January 16, 2019.

1.      The Board heard three presentations in the morning as a part of its joint finance and policy committee meeting.

  • Vice Provost Ande Durojaiye provided an overview of the faculty development programs that help provide sabbaticals, project grants, and summer fellowships to faculty through a peer-reviewed process. Justin Yates, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Catherine Neal, Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Business Law, introduced scholarly work they produced utilizing the time and money provided through the faculty development awards. As winner of NKU’s inaugural Spotlight on Scholarship in the fall of 2018, Kirsten Schwarz, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Ecological Stewardship Institute, joined  students Jaeydah Edwards and Enrica Jackson in presenting the project, “Strategic Depaving in Newport’s Urban Core for Community and Environment.”

  • Interim Dean Michael Whiteman highlighted the work being done in the Chase College of Law to increase the quality and prestige of education, and provide students with public service opportunities and experiential learning. Chase students James Tanner Duncan and Stephanie Brockman spoke of their experiences in the College of Law and how they have been prepared for future careers.

  • Six months after the establishment of the Institute for Health Innovation, the progress of the institute was detailed by Valerie Hardcastle, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Executive Director of the Institute for Health Innovation and Vice President for Health Innovation. Dr. Hardcastle was joined by IHI Program Director Carolyn Noe and Amanda Peters, Director of the Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. They spoke of the work being done by the institute to connect with the community and region, win grants for important research, develop workforce needs, and improve health outcomes throughout Northern Kentucky.

2.      In the afternoon, the Board approved all recommended items including the granting of sabbatical leaves to the deserving faculty.

The Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be on March 20, 2019.



Presidential Comments
Board of Regents
January 16, 2019

Thank you Chair Scheben and Members of the Board.

Happy New Year and welcome back to everyone. I hope that your break was both restful and enjoyable.

I would like to welcome the new interim dean of the Haile/US Bank College of Business Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer. This is her second week on the job. I was introduced to Johnna as a member of the presidential transition committee, and as the former President and CEO of REDI-Cincinnati. Johnna’s experience in economic development and regional collaboration to attract and retain companies aligns well with NKU’s mission of leveraging partnerships to connect the talents within the College of Business with the needs of the region. I am delighted to have Johnna lead the Haile/US Bank College of Business during this time of transition.

On December 15, just prior to the holidays, we conferred more than 1,110 degrees to our talented graduates at commencement.

It was an honor to shake hands with each of our graduates and see hope and excitement on their faces—this was a very special moment for me as it was my first commencement at NKU.

Fall Forum
On December 12, we held the president’s fall forum during which I updated the campus on the highlights and accomplishments of the fall semester, a progress report on the strategic framework, and an enrollment and budget update. We also presented an early look at our FY20 budget planning effort. As part of that planning, I provide an update on the options we were considering to address the pension challenge.

Since the Forum, we continue to work closely with members of our legislative caucus, colleagues from the other six state universities and the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), to draft a bill that aligns with the proposed priorities that were presented at the Fall Forum and other constituency meetings. The legislature is adjourned until early February, but upon their return we expect action upon our priorities.

We have met with both Senate and House leadership, the Governor and his staff, and other legislators from across the state to educate them on the elements of the proposed consensus bill, while emphasizing the urgency of the issue for Kentucky’s public higher education institutions.

Kentucky Postsecondary Education Symposium
On December 18, a team from NKU, including Regents Ward, Boehne, Shumate, Baranowski, Bauer, Edelen, Provost Sue Ott Rowlands, Vice President Dan Nadler and I, attended the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Symposium in Louisville. This event included higher education leaders from across the state who gathered to discuss how we can collectively affect the future of the Commonwealth through a more educated citizenry. The day was capped off by a keynote address by Arizona State University President Michael Crowe on the role of postsecondary education in the 21st century.

I look forward to seeing how we can put some of the ideas from that symposium to ensure that NKU is at the forefront of the goal to provide postsecondary credentials for 60% of Kentuckians by 2030.

Enrollment Update
We have some encouraging news regarding our spring enrollment.

As of the first day of classes, overall headcount is up 5 percent and FTE is up 2.6 percent over last spring. These increases are mainly due to accelerated on-line programs with some improvements in retention and persistence. Therefore, we are projecting to be up in overall enrollment for fiscal year 19.

With the unexpected decline in on-campus degree-seeking students at the beginning of the fall semester, I challenged the campus to reach ambitious retention and enrollment goals from the fall to spring semesters, and we have seen some early success. Preliminary first-year retention of degree-seeking students as of the first day of classes is up over last year. Moreover, we have again started to close the gap between overall retention and URM retention.

Retention is up because we are retaining the students who are currently enrolled despite the loss of enrollment last fall. This is an indicator that the one-time investment measures put in place last semester are paying dividends. This was accomplished through a collaborative and sustained effort across campus.

Enrollment is critical for our continued success, and I would like to extend my gratitude to all for this crucial work. Let’s keep it up.

Online Program Rankings
Our online education programs are a significant reason for the positive enrollment. We were recently recognized by the Community for Accredited Online Schools for our online learning offerings in 2018-19, ranking on the following lists:

  • Best Online Schools in Kentucky
  • Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees
  • Best Construction Management Schools
  • Best Radiology Technician Schools

Considering the relative youth of our online portfolio, it is very encouraging to be nationally recognized for our efforts.

Since launching accelerated online programs in spring 2018, we have grown from 174 students across 13 degree programs and 0 certificates to more than 1,400 students in 20 programs and 8 certificates.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Grants
Collaborating with regional partners, NKU is enjoying great success in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation.

At the end of November, the Northern Kentucky Entrepreneurship Council was awarded a $750,000 grant through Kentucky’s RISE Program to emphasize entrepreneurship and innovation in regional economic development through informatics, health innovation and logistics innovation.

NKU will lend its expertise through the College of Business, the College of Informatics and the Institute for Health Innovation.

Additionally, Tri-ED, the Institute for Health Innovation and St. Elizabeth Healthcare were recently awarded a $731,000 grant from the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to build the Northern Kentucky Health Innovation Initiative, the first time funding of this type has been awarded in Kentucky.

The RISE grant and local matching funds amount to a $2.8 million innovation and entrepreneurship investment in our region. We are excited to showcase how our talented faculty, staff and students can benefit our region and state.

Kentucky Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs
NKU is now the official Kentucky Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs site. Beginning in the summer of 2019, 70 Kentucky students will learn and engage in product innovation and business model design at NKU. GSE will work closely with NKU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as well as local business, education and government leaders, to support regional entrepreneurs, foster talented high school students and cement NKU’s reputation as an innovation hub.

Success by Design update
On Friday, January 11, the Strategic Framework Core Team held a day-long retreat to analyze the data produced during various engagement opportunities in the fall. The Core Team will continue to develop the framework around the theme of advancing student success – with a focus on access, completion, and career and community engagement - aligned with the needs of the region. While we have moved onto the next phase of the strategic framing process, it has become clear that our strategic planning process will be constantly evolving as the regional needs change. In this new paradigm, we will be required to constantly innovate, adapt, and execute in an iterative process as we stay responsive to the needs of the region and beyond.

I want to recognize the ongoing work of the Core Team and the outstanding work contributed by the Resource Team. This group of nearly 100 subject matter experts produced valuable reports on such topics as institutional alignment, the labor market and diversity/equity/inclusion. We hope to publish these reports on the Success by Design website soon.

Administration and Finance Highlights and Accomplishments
Tim Ferguson, Chief Information Officer was selected for the Cincinnati Tech Power Player: Class of 2019 list of leading IT executives for Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky by Lead Tribune Media Group. This recognition celebrates the great work of technology leaders, influencers and advocates that help to foster deeper community.

Athletics Highlights and Accomplishments
NKU student-athletes posted a 3.47 GPA in the fall 2018 semester, edging spring 2018's cumulative 3.46 to establish yet another department record.

This is the 15th-straight semester NKU student-athletes have had at least a 3.0 GPA, the ninth-straight semester they have posted at least a 3.2 and the third-straight above a 3.3.

Volleyball tied for second in the Horizon League regular-season and battled its way to runner-up in fall’s Horizon League Tournament. Both finishes are program-bests in the Division I era.

Women’s soccer finished third in the Horizon League regular-season and reached the league tournament for a fourth-straight season.

Academic Affairs Highlights and Accomplishments
At November’s annual Kentucky Academy of Sciences meeting, 18 College of Arts and Science students won awards for research presentations.

Congratulations are due to Ariel Porter, a Biological Sciences major, who was accepted into the first class of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine - Northern Kentucky Campus, beginning in Fall 2019.

MPA student Lindsay Lomax was presented a "Heart of the Community" award by the Center for Great Neighborhoods in November. This award recognizes Covington residents who have made “significant contributions to their neighborhood or school.” Lindsay helped spearhead a back-to-school party at Goebel Pool that fed 50 families, distributed school supplies and gathered input for future park improvements.

Our School of the Arts was represented at the Kentucky National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) student auditions in October. This transdisciplinary experience included several NKU faculty: Rita Larkin and Catherine Keen from Theatre & Dance; Kimberly Lazzeri and Joy Burdette from Music; and three pianists, Mika Komuro, Dasom Kwon and Natasha Pence. In total, 18 students from SOTA and the Music Prep program competed in the student auditions. An impressive 13 advanced to the semifinals, with five placing in the finals, from each of the studios.

Devon Moore’s original composition “Neon Radiation” won grand prize on Devon is pursuing a B.A. in audio production here at NKU.

Lisa Jameson, program head for Visual Arts, was honored with the Kentucky Higher Education Teacher of the Year award from the Kentucky Art Education Association at the annual fall convention. Congratulations, Lisa.

The department of Political Science, Criminal Justice, and Organizational Leadership, in collaboration with Chase College of Law faculty, is launching an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts law degree this spring. This multidisciplinary major will provide advantageous legal training for careers where a JD is not required.

CINSAM was recently awarded the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education’s Community Partner Award. CINSAM was nominated by a Kenton County Schools teacher for professional development work in STEM education, especially the Next Generation STEM Classroom project.

I am proud to announce the College of Education and Human Services received final certification for national accreditation at the initial-licensure level by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation in fall 2018, recognizing excellence in educator preparation.

The College of Education and Human Services’ Special Education Program received national professional recognition by the Council for Exceptional Children. Ours is the only such program in the state of Kentucky to receive this recognition.

The College of Education and Human Services’ $770,000 Kentucky Traineeship Program federal grant was recently renewed, allowing NKU to offer tuition assistance for courses leading to teacher certification in Special Education and Integrated Early Childhood Education programs.

Student Affairs Highlights and Accomplishments
A highly successful Student Parent Holiday Help Initiative was conducted in which generous donations were collected from NKU faculty and staff, resulting in the sponsorship of 36 student parent families comprising 42 adults and 69 children. There were 21 departments/offices, 3 student organizations, and 11 individuals involved to make this possible.

Upcoming Events
This Friday, January 18, we will gather for our Spring convocation. In place of the usual address, we will view Unlikely: In Pursuit of a Better U, a documentary that focuses on the college dropout crisis and systemic barriers some students face in pursuit of education and a livable-wage career. An expert panel of faculty, staff, students and community members will follow.

The morning will begin at 9 a.m. in the Student Union Ballroom and conclude around 11:30. I hope you can join us for what should be a very meaningful morning.

On Monday, January 21, we will be closed to observe Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr Day. However, more than 800 Norse students, faculty and staff have graciously volunteered their holiday to perform needed acts of service throughout the region.

And finally, mark your calendars for Homecoming Week Feb. 2-9. Festivities will include the annual Alumni Awards on Feb. 8th and the men’s basketball game the next day. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Chair Scheben and Members of the Board that concludes my comments for today’s Board meeting.

Ashish K. Vaidya, Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Drive
800 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099
Phone: 859-572-5123
Fax: 859-572-6696