The interim president will not be eligible for the presidential position

By: Christian LeDuc

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — The Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents selected Bonita Brown as NKU’s new interim president.

The board made the announcement at a meeting Wednesday morning. Brown will serve until the seventh president is selected and begins their term, the board said in a press release.

She’s no stranger to the university. She’s been with the university since 2019. She currently serves as NKU’s vice president and chief strategy officer.

“On behalf of the Board of Regents and the whole university community, I offer deep and sincere thanks to Bonita for stepping into this crucial interim role during a period of transition for NKU,” said Rich Boehne, chair of the NKU Board of Regents.

“We’re working quickly and aggressively to turn a period of economic challenge into a season of opportunity for our current and future students, and Bonita is the best leader to drive this effort.”

According to the board, in agreeing to serve as interim president, Brown is not eligible to become the university’s next permanent president.

“I am deeply grateful to the Board for the opportunity to work in service to the university as we navigate this transitional period,” Brown said.

“NKU has a strong reputation for supporting students in this region in reaching their academic goals and I look forward to collaborating with the NKU campus community to continue this important work.”

Her appointment came shortly after Dr. Ashish K. Vaidya’s departure from the university last month when the board decided it was time for a leadership transition. Vaidya was the university’s sixth president. He served in the position since 2018 and created strategies to increase retention and graduation rates. However, NKU is facing a nearly $19 million dollar budget shortfall that’s drawn the attention of state leaders, including Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.

Beshear said he wants the next president to be connected to the Northern Kentucky community.

“I want to see someone who is innovative and creative. I want to see a leader who grasps the potential for the region and works with employers,” Beshear said.

“Every single program at NKU should have a local or regional employer that should welcome you with open arms because they know how great the program is.”

Reposted with permission from WCPO 9 Cincinnati.

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