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To: Faculty and Staff
From: Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.
President, Northern Kentucky University
Date: 02/02/24
Subject: Campus update, Call for Task Force Volunteers, and Good News from January 2024

Dear NKU campus community,


I hope the semester is off to a great start for everyone! We have a fun filled weekend of Homecoming activities to look forward to on campus this weekend to kick off February!

Campus will be alive with celebrations, reconnections and Norse spirit all weekend with events such as the Alumni Awards Dinner and Celebration, the Black Alumni Council SneakerBall, tailgating with friends, men's and women's basketball games, and more. I really hope to see many of you at the various events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Homecoming is such an important week for our community, and I would like to thank all the faculty and staff involved in making this such a great week, especially the teams in Special Events, Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, and of course, all our student-affairs teams. These fun activities we enjoy are the culmination of weeks and months of thought and preparation. I am grateful for your work to make this such a special week.

And of course, congratulations to each of our Alumni Awards recipients for 2024, including Jennifer Gardner who will receive the Faculty/Staff Strongest Influence Award Saturday night.

February is Black History Month and NKU will spend the whole month celebrating our community of Black students, faculty, staff and alumni. African American Student Initiatives also sponsors and co-sponsors various events throughout February, paying tribute to the history and events of the African Diaspora.

Earlier this week, our Board of Regents chair, Rich Boehne, announced that the formal investiture ceremony for my presidency will be Friday, April 26, 2024, at 2 p.m. inside Truist Arena here on campus. I am excited to celebrate this important day for our university with you because, as Rich said, “this will be a time to gather our whole community to look ahead with an optimistic eye and recommit together to our shared mission of student success.” Please mark that date on your calendar to join us to celebrate NKU.

Call for Task Force Volunteers

I’ve mentioned a few times that I will convene and charge a few task forces to work to draft and gather feedback for two planning efforts—Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Planning and Workforce & Experiential Learning/Outreach Hub Concept. These groups will convene in person and have meetings scheduled in advance to make planning easier.

The first task force will work to draft a three-year SEM plan with the first year due by July 1. The work on years 2-3 of the plan will be conducted from January 2025-June 2025. The SEM planning team will be a group with colleagues from Enrollment Management as well as representatives serving targeted populations (i.e.: veterans, international students, etc.). This call seeks three additional faculty members from different colleges with an interest in or knowledge about how to best maximize in-person and targeted student populations. If you are interested, please share your name, reasons you’re interested in serving, schedule restrictions (times you cannot meet during the typical M-F work week), and best contact information here by February 9.

To grow our connections with workforce partners at NKU, I’m convening a task force to help us shape a centralized hub and spoke model that would provide external partners with an easier “front door” to NKU and provide our students with far more internship, co-op, and career opportunities. Some partners may work with our students on campus while others may not. Think of it as ENTERprise 2.0 — we will need to start small and grow to scale. This hub might also serve as an outreach arm that works with liaisons in the colleges for applied research and experiential learning opportunities. This work will begin in March with an aim to launch a centralized unit in 2025. This call seeks six faculty and staff volunteers from various colleges and units with an interest in strengthening and growing our connections to the region. If you are interested, please share your name, reasons you’re interested in serving, schedule restrictions (times you cannot meet during the typical work week), and best contact information here by February 9.

We have so much good news to share here this semester, so here are just a couple recent points of pride:

As always, these are just a few examples of the many great things happening at NKU. You can always read more about inspiring things happening here at NKU Magazine and the NKU Media Center. And please stay up to date with the happenings around campus by looking at our featured events calendar.

I am always grateful for your support of our students and campus community. Once again, happy homecoming and go Norse!

All my best,

Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.

President, Northern Kentucky University