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From: Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.
President, Northern Kentucky University
Date: 10/30/2023
Subject: Leadership Transition

Dear NKU Colleagues,

Good afternoon. It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you that Jeremy Alltop has resigned his position as Vice President for Administration and Finance/Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, effective January 2, 2024. He has decided to leave higher education altogether and pursue new opportunities. I respect his decision and wish him well. On behalf of NKU, I thank Jeremy for helping to lead the institution through the discovery of the deficit as well as help to manage its reduction by more than $15 million in a short timeframe. Without question, his financial acumen has been instrumental during this difficult time and Jeremy has had an impact on NKU.

As we prepare for Jeremy’s departure, I have appointed Karen Mefford, longtime NKU colleague in Financial Services and the Comptroller’s office, to serve as Interim Chief Financial Officer to bring her experience and detailed knowledge to manage our current budget and lead the formulation of our upcoming budget, as well as manage shared services. In addition, I have appointed NKU alumnus, Barry Kienzle to serve as Interim Vice President of Administration and Finance to lead and provide oversight of our CFO and leaders in HR, IT, Facilities, and Police. As many of you know, Barry is the retired CFO of Paul Hemmer Companies and former President of the NKU Foundation. He will begin his transition into his interim role immediately. Finally, longtime NKU colleague and Director of Business Operations Andy Meeks has agreed to serve as Interim Assistant Vice President of Business Operations and assume leadership of the Recreation Center and Housing. On behalf of NKU, please join me in thanking Karen, Barry, and Andy for agreeing to serve us in these capacities. Simply put, Administration and Finance’s units—and we-- are in excellent hands.

At this point, I want to reassure you that we are all committed to a smooth transition as well as to continue the hard work of addressing our financial deficit via the established repositioning plan. The board, cabinet, and campus have made major progress to restoring financial health and returning to a positive financial position, but work remains. Please know that Jeremy’s departure does not signal a change from the current course toward our financial health. We are trending in the right direction and will continue to do so with everyone’s prudence and support. Thank you in advance for being good stewards of our funds and working hard with us to address needed changes and improvements in our decisions, actions, systems, processes, and policies. I promise you—we are getting there!

Lastly, I have asked Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Bonita Brown, J.D. to serve as the chair of the search committee for our next CFO/VP of Administration and Finance. The position will be posted today, and she will immediately convene a multi-constituent committee with financial knowledge and experience to swiftly recruit, interview, and recommend candidates to me. As usual, a greater array of university colleagues will have an opportunity to meet with, interview, and provide feedback on the finalists in an open process. We aim to attract excellent candidates and land an outstanding financial leader and colleague in the next few months. This position is a huge opportunity for the right person to lead change and positively impact our university and region for decades to come. We will not utilize a search firm, rather we will post the position in suitable venues and utilize our broad networks. To that end, I ask you to share the opportunity with your networks and colleagues with senior level financial leadership experience. I communicate often about NKU opportunities and news in LinkedIn, if you haven’t already connected with me, please consider doing so. As always, thanks for your support.

Onward and Upward,


Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.

President, Northern Kentucky University