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To: Faculty and Staff
From: Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.
President, Northern Kentucky University
Date: 01/29/24
Subject: Legislative Updates


Dear NKU campus community:

The Kentucky General Assembly convened earlier this month, so I’d like to share a few updates on the work being done by our elected officials impacting NKU and our students, faculty and staff.

Last week, House leadership presented its proposed budget for the next two years, including increases in the general funds that NKU would receive from the state as well as more investment in NKU from the performance funding model. NKU continues to perform well on performance-funding priorities, and I truly appreciate the student-centered work you do each day. We know our work results in more than simply data metrics — it impacts the lives of our students.


In addition to overall operating funds in the budget, we continue to seek capital funds for much needed asset preservation. These needs are scattered throughout campus and include, among other things, building infrastructure needs, systems replacements, building renovations and  modernization, and exterior repairs. In addition, we have requested to renovate Steely Library to create modernized spaces that align with our institution’s needs and support student learning and success. Additionally, we have requested funding support for the replacement of NKU’s aging IT infrastructure system.

We are also working with several external partners to improve campus and generate new revenue streams and community engagement. First, the State Justice Cabinet is seeking to better serve the northern Kentucky region through a partnership with NKU to establish a Northern Kentucky Medical Examiner’s office in the former Highland Heights Civics Building. This partnership will generate revenue via a long-term lease and provide opportunities for collaboration with faculty and students. Second, after a two-year partnership with us, FC Cincinnati has an interest in expanding NKU’s soccer and training facilities to serve as the permanent home for the FC Cincinnati 2 Team (MLS Next Pro team). Both of these projects will be funded externally.

House members will work through the budget proposal in the coming weeks and then it will move to the senate for its review before a budget bill goes to Governor Beshear for his signature.

Other bills have been introduced and discussed regarding topics that impact NKU and this community at large, such as post-tenure review, concealed carry, free speech on campus, and the KentuckyCYBER program. There are also two bills — one in the senate and one in the house — that would change the way we are able to approach our work on diversity, equity and inclusion.

I want to reiterate that we are committed to our vision of “being a student ready, regionally engaged university that empowers diverse learners for economic and social mobility.” We are doing the work, and we will continue doing the work to foster an inclusive environment where a wide array of thoughts and opinions are encouraged and supported. With that in mind, we will continue to assess the potential impact of any bill on our campus community and will approach any legislative changes with our mission and vision in mind.

I will continue to update the campus as the legislative session progresses. In the meantime, thank you for all you do for NKU.

Best Regards,

Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.

President, Northern Kentucky University