Northern Kentucky University empowers the future of our students and enhances the economic, social and civic vitality of our region.
NKU is committed to advancing student success aligned with the needs of the region. This commitment is manifested through providing access to all individuals seeking a higher education, helping students complete their higher education goals, and preparing students for productive careers and community engagement.
This commitment is part of what drew President Vaidya to NKU, and, as we celebrate his installation as our sixth president, we keep this theme of empowerment at the forefront of everything we do as a university.
Every day, NKU empowers the future by building a better today for our students, our region and the world.
"I look forward to gathering in excitement over what this university is and what we, together, will become in the years ahead." —Ashish Vaidya
Dr. Ashish Vaidya has served as Northern Kentucky University’s sixth president since July 1, 2018, after being named on November 9, 2017. As NKU’s president, Vaidya is responsible for championing the university’s mission and core values, charting an adventurous course and communicating the strategic priorities clearly with internal and external stakeholders. He works closely with the chair and members of the Board of Regents to achieve those priorities and strengthen the university and the community. Vaidya fosters a collegial and collaborative culture that capitalizes on the richness of the NKU community and furthers its commitment to access and inclusive excellence.
Vaidya most recently served a two-year term as interim president of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. As interim president, he served as the campus CEO and oversaw all operations and the university’s strategic direction. He also managed SCSU’s $210 million operating budget.
Prior to his tenure as interim president at St. Cloud State, he served as the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Before SCSU, Vaidya served at two different campuses in the California State University system, where his last appointed role was special advisor to the president for regional economic development at Cal State Los Angeles. From 2010-2014, he served as Cal State L.A.’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. Prior to his tenure there, he was dean of faculty at Cal State Channel Islands, where he helped to build a new institution from the ground up.
Vaidya has made “student success aligned with the needs of the region” NKU’s singularfocus. A new strategic framework, “Success by Design,” is being finalized and will guide NKU’s next chapter as it looks to the next 50 years. This framework will focus on expanding access, enabling completion and ensuring NKU learners are career-ready and engaged members of the community.
Vaidya has published numerous books and articles, including serving as an editor of “Operationalizing Stewards of Place: Implementing Regional Engagement and Economic Development Strategies,” a 2015 publication of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. His extensive community work includes service on the boards of Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Cintrifuse Board of Directors; Horizon League Board of Directors; Metropolitan Club Board of Governors; Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance Board of Directors; Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Northern Kentucky University Foundation Board of Directors; REDI Cincinnati Board of Directors; Tri County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors; and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati Board of Directors. He is a member of the AASCU’s Committee on Workforce and Economic Development, and from 2014-16 he served as chair of the AASCU Research Engagement and Research Council.
Vaidya is married to Nita Vaidya, a sociologist. They have two children: Jaanhvi, a manager with Accenture, and Avaneesh, a 2018 graduate of the University of Arizona and a technology development associate at Optum. Vaidya is also father to Coco—the family’s pampered Chihuahua mix pet.
March 26-29, 2019