Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Sue Ott Rowlands has accepted my offer to be our next Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.  She will join us on January 6. 

I am excited to welcome Sue to the NKU community.  Her collaborative and engaging leadership style, her commitment to student success, and her experience consistent with our anticipated strategic plan – particularly her work in fostering and supporting transdisciplinary activities – make her an ideal choice.  In addition, the search committee and I were impressed with the breadth and depth of her academic experience at several prominent universities.

Ms. Ott Rowlands presently serves as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.  This unit is one of Virginia Tech’s largest and most complex colleges.  Ms. Ott Rowlands has extensive budget, fundraising, and leadership responsibilities that will translate very well to her work at NKU. 

Previously, in addition to her faculty role, Ms. Ott Rowlands served as an interim dean and academic department chair at the University of Toledo and program chair at The Ohio State University.  Ms. Ott Rowlands also has extensive international teaching experience.  She has taught in Sri Lanka, Hungary, and New Zealand. 

Ms. Ott Rowlands earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting and Directing from the University of Oklahoma, and she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Oklahoma Christian College. 

I am grateful to Gail Wells for her nearly 10 years of service as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost – and many more years of service as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Mathematics.

I would also like to express my appreciation to Sue Hodges Moore, chair of the search committee, Kevin Kirby, vice chair of the search committee, and the entire committee for their diligent work in attracting such a distinguished group of candidates.

Finally, I’d like to thank every student, faculty, and staff member who participated in the interview sessions and who provided their feedback.

I am pleased to welcome Sue to the NKU community.  I hope you will join me in welcoming her to our wonderful University.



Geoffrey S. Mearns
Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Drive
800 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099
Phone: 859-572-5123
Fax: 859-572-6696