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To: Faculty and Staff
From: Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.
President, Northern Kentucky University
Date: 01/05/24
Subject: Leadership Transition

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you of a leadership transition in the president’s cabinet. Beginning on Monday, Matt Cecil, PhD will assume a new role as Special Advisor to the President. I have appointed Diana McGill, PhD as our next Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, pending final approval by the Board of Regents at their January 17, 2024 meeting.

Dr. Cecil has served as Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs since 2021 and will now transition to provide leadership related to the university’s online education activities. He will oversee the review of the institution’s existing offerings and the creation of a framework to assess the quality of online offerings and the student experience. This new assignment will build upon and draw from his successes in growing our online offerings since his arrival. The role will also allow the university’s leadership to continue to examine and revisit its enrollment profile and mix in today’s dynamic higher education landscape. Matt will also aid in supporting the university’s collaboration with its online education partner and provide recommendations regarding institutional leadership roles. As he begins this new role, please join me in thanking him for his service to NKU as Provost over the last few years. Matt has led Academic and Student Affairs through various reorganizations, innovations, and institutional challenges. I look forward to working with Dr. Cecil in this new capacity.

Starting Monday, Dr. Diana McGill will begin her tenure as the University’s Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. Dr. McGill is well known by most NKU constituents. She first came to NKU as an undergraduate student, graduating with a BS in Biology and a BA in Chemistry. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Harvard University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She rejoined NKU in 1993 as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and has spent her entire professional career here, serving as department chair from 2003-2012, interim Dean in 2016-2017, and as Dean of the of the College of Arts and Sciences since July 2017.

Dr. McGill is widely respected on campus for her career-long contributions and commitment. At every level and in each role she has held, Diana has excelled. She is innovative, thoughtful, inclusive, and resourceful. Dr. McGill is a champion for student success and leads in a way that is highly accessible and student-centered. A first-generation college student herself, Diana embodies NKU’s mission and will bring her own story, and deep commitment and love of the institution to this opportunity. Additionally, I know that Dr. McGill will demonstrate respect for all constituents and engage in shared governance, as well as bring her intellectual and analytical strengths, and financial savvy to this new role. I am thrilled to welcome her to the president’s cabinet in this critically important position and time.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Dr. McGill as NKU’s next Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.



Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.

President, Northern Kentucky University