NKU announced its president is stepping down

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — The reporting of some student journalists at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) could shed some light on the announcement of the university’s president, Dr. Ashish Vaidya’s coming departure.

What You Need To Know

  • NKU announced Vaidya will leave his post effective Dec. 19, 2022
  • NKU’s student newspaper The Northern reported the university has an unexpected budget deficit of $24.2 million
  • The newspaper’s editor-in-chief said his staff thinks the deficit may be connected to Vaidya’s departure

NKU announced Vaidya will leave his post effective Dec. 19, 2022 at a recent NKU Board of Regents meeting. NKU sent out a release that said the board of regents and Vaidya “determined that the time is now for a leadership transition as the university embarks on a multi-year repositioning effort in response to changing market and financial pressures impacting all of higher education.”

It gave no other reason for the departure. NKU told Spectrum News 1 “we’re not making anyone available to talk,” when asked for comment. Vaidya’s contract with the university was supposed to be viable until 2027.

NKU’s student newspaper The Northerner has been following the situation closely. Editor-in-chief Braden White described the reaction at the Board of Regents meeting.

“There was some mixed reaction among people that attended the meeting. Some were crying. Some were very happy,” White said. “Although it came as a surprise, the recent deficit might be in connection, we think, to that.”

NKU announced an unexpected budget deficit of $18.7 million in early October, which has since grown to $24.2 million.

According to The Northerner’s reporting, NKU spent $8 million above the projected budget on institutional aid and lost $5 million to declining enrollment, which the university attributes to competition from online education providers. $5.7 million is described as “unbudgeted expenditure.”

Vaidya has been NKU’s president since July 2018. He said in a statement, “It has been a privilege and honor to lead this university over the past four-and-half years. Thanks to the great work of the faculty, staff and students, I believe significant progress has been achieved during the past several years.”

White said he thinks Vaidya has been liked around campus. “I definitely do think that he had a big impact on students, especially how he worked through some pretty historic events, COVID-19 and the budget,” he said.

NKU says Vaidya plans to return to his home state of California.


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