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From: Bonita J. Brown, J.D.
Interim President, Northern Kentucky University
Date: 03/30/2023
Subject: Good News from March 2023


Dear Campus Community,

It is hard to believe that we are about to enter the month of April and that in just a few short weeks, we will celebrate our latest graduating class at the May 2023 Commencement as we end this academic year.

I hope our students and faculty enjoyed a safe, restful and rejuvenating spring break earlier this month and everyone is on track for a successful spring 2023 semester. While many were able to step away for a time and recharge, NKU was as busy as usual throughout the month.

Our Board of Regents recently announced the framework for the search for our seventh president and earlier this week, the search committee held two open forums seeking feedback from the campus community. I want to thank everyone who participated in these important forums in person and online. I also want to thank Regent Kara Williams and Regent Elizabeth Thompson for facilitating the discussions.  Your feedback is instrumental in this search process and I encourage you to continue to offer your perspective through the constituent survey and/or the search comments form. For more information on the presidential search, please visit the presidential search website.

We celebrated our Founders’ Day on March 15 and the community honored the founders’ charge with another successful day of giving, raising more than $370,000 from 775 donors. Thank you to all who participated. It was a great way to honor NKU’s 55th birthday and how far this university has come since 1968 to become a beacon of strength in northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. Here, we provide critical opportunities to thousands of learners and alumni, and I believe we should celebrate that every day as we carry on our learner-focused and regionally engaged work.

Throughout March, the university celebrated National Women’s History Month, honoring the countless achievements of American women. Each year, our university recognizes 31 women at NKU for their contributions to the university's success. These amazing women have been featured on NKU social media throughout the month.

Other key highlights from March include:

NKU Men's Basketball Championship 2023
  • Congratulations again to our men’s basketball team! Our men’s basketball team won the 2023 Horizon League championship and qualified for its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in its first seven years of Division I eligibility. Although the Norse fell to top-seeded Houston in the first round, NKU exceeded the nation’s expectations by giving the Cougars all they could handle for all 40 minutes in Birmingham, Alabama. It was also great to see so many from our community in the stands in person and at the various watch parties around town here locally. We could not be prouder.
  • Now is a busy competition time for Haile College of Business students. Five NKU teams representing the college will be among 16 teams from across Kentucky this Sunday during the KY Pitch competition at the Frazier Museum in Louisville. There, they will present their innovative ideas at Kentucky’s largest collegiate business-pitch competition. This competition is presented by the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs and will allow our teams to compete for tens of thousands of dollars in funding. Good luck to everyone this weekend.

    Just last week, one of the teams representing NKU at the 2023 Econ Games at the University of Kentucky placed third in the competition. Those games are an experiential learning program that allows students to use what they learned in the classroom and to apply it to a real-world problem. Also, an NKU team participated in the Global Scaling Challenge in early March where they presented growth strategies and ideas to real-life companies. The goal was to make the students see the relevance of their learnings and build confidence in their abilities, and while their placement in the challenge is not yet known, I am told they performed very well. Congratulations to everyone challenging themselves in these competitions.
  • The Lifelong Investment and Future Transformation (LIFT) Scholars Program, established in 2019 out of the Further, Faster giving campaign, received its final matching gift, leaving an immeasurable impact and legacy on its students and the university.

    The LIFT Scholars program is focused on NKU students who have demonstrated academic potential but are at risk of not completing their degrees. To make the program happen, NKU was able to match the original $2 million gift from Rich and Lisa Boehne and Bill and Sue Butler ($1 million each) with other gifts from the community.

    As a result of the program, 23 new endowed scholarships were established.
  • We are proud to celebrate the inaugural cohort of students at the River City Correctional Center in Cincinnati who successfully completed the university’s Second Chance Education Program, a pilot program aimed at providing an educational opportunity in the study of information technology to incarcerated women at River City.

    This innovative program was funded in part by the Success by Design Innovation Challenge and provides the incarcerated with the opportunity to go to college and to earn livable wages. This initiative was created by the NKU College of Informatics in collaboration with the NKU social work program.

We continue to have so much to be proud of here and I will look forward to sharing great news with you each month. In the meantime, you can keep up with all the wonderful things happening at NKU through the NKU Media Center and NKU Magazine, and don’t forget to listen to the Norse Up Podcast each week — it is released on Fridays. 

Thank you for all you do for our university, our learners and the community. We are NKU!




Bonita J. Brown, J.D.
Interim President