LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Northern Kentucky University announced that Dr. Ashish K. Vaidya, the university’s sixth president, will leave his post effective Dec. 19, 2022.
In a news release Thursday night, the university shared that the NKU 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.” No other reason was given for the departure, though Vaidya’s contract with the university was supposed to go to 2027.
“On behalf of the Board of Regents, I’d like to thank Ashish for his many accomplishments at NKU, and also express our deep appreciation to Nita and the whole family for the sacrifices they have made over the past four-and-a-half years in service to our mission, our students and the region,” said Board chair Rich Boehne.
“We know that transitions in leadership can be difficult, and often sad, but when embraced as opportunity, transitions can serve to reinforce our most essential goals and accelerate our efforts to achieve them. We won’t miss this opportunity for NKU, as it often has in the first 50 years of its adventure, to focus forward and boldly demonstrate its commitment to changing lives and lifting the whole of our community.”
Vaidya began his tenure at NKU on July 1, 2018. Under his leadership, the university says it focused on a new vision of NKU becoming nationally recognized for being a “student-ready, regionally engaged university that empowers diverse learners for economic and social mobility.” The university also credited him for his commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity, and creating the position of Chief Diversity Officer.
“It has been a privilege and honor to lead this university over the past four-and-half years,” Vaidya said in a statement. “Thanks to the great work of the faculty, staff and students, I believe significant progress has been achieved during the past several years.”
The university lauded Vaidya’s role in raising NKU’s profile with his work as chair of the Horizon League Board of Directors, on the American Association for State Colleges and Universities’ Board of Directors, on the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Cincinnati Branch Board of Directors and as part of EAB’s Moon Shot for Equity.
Vaidya and his partner, Dr. Nita Vaidya, plan to return to their home state of California.
“Nita and I have been away from California for nearly eight years now and we are ready to return home to our roots and explore opportunities there,” Dr. Ashish Vaidya said. “I would like to thank Chair Rich Boehne and members of the Board for this opportunity. Nita and I are grateful to the community for welcoming us into the region as well.”