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To: Faculty, Staff and Students
From: President Ashish Vaidya
Date:  9/13/21
Subject: Announcing the Ashish & Nita Vaidya Fund for Mental Health and Student Engagement

Dear Campus Community:

The emphasis on mental healthcare and wellbeing is one of the positives to come out of the pandemic, and we must continue the focus as we enter our second fall season battling COVID-19. One important piece in this effort is NKU’s Presidential Initiative for Student Mental Health established last year. Dr. Christopher Lawrence and Dr. Nita Vaidya have led the Mental Health Advisory Group to renew our effort to connect our students with the help they need. Providing early and ongoing support to our learners aims to keep problems from escalating to a crisis and helps them deal with uncertainty the pandemic creates.

Nita and I strongly feel that now more than ever, this effort needs an additional boost; therefore, we have decided to create the Ashish and Nita Vaidya Fund for Mental Health and Student Engagement. I will dedicate the $25,000 bonus the Board of Regents unanimously approved last Wednesday with my deferred bonus from last year to establish this $50,000 fund. It will advance the Student Mental Health Initiative and the Mental Health Advisory Group’s work serving students as the university maintains a focus on mental health.

The fund also supports another integral part of the NKU experience– student engagement. We know creating meaningful interactions connects students to campus and each other. The more connected our learners are, the more likely they are to ask for help when problem arise and persist to reach their educational goals.

With the current COVID trends, we all must make the effort to renew our sense of community and support each other this fall semester. Caring and empathy are as much hallmarks of our campus as perseverance and agility. Nita and I cannot think of a better purpose for the bonuses than to dedicate resources to directly support students’ mental and social wellbeing. I would also like to thank the Board of Regents for their continued confidence in my vision for the university. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as your President.

Ashish Vaidya