A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKU President Mearns to stay through commencement, Desmarais heads search committee

Staff report

Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents Chair Rich Boehne provided an update Tuesday on the process to replace President Goeffrey S. Mearns.

Mearns accepted the position of President of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana on Jan. 24. Boehne said that Mearns will continue to serve as the president through Spring Commencement on May 7. Prior to that date, NKU will name an interim president who will step in until the new president is named.

Rich Boehne

NKU has already issued Requests for Proposal for a Presidential and Executive Search Consultant to assist in the selection process.

Boehne announced that Regent Norm Desmarais has agreed to chair the search committee.

“Norm’s professional experience and personal commitment to NKU make him a terrific choice. Norm is the chairman and founding partner of the Covington-based tech firm Tier1 Performance Solutions.” Boehne said in a statement to the campus community.

Boehne said in the statement that Desmarais will guide the search process, but he won’t be working alone.

“He will be in touch soon with faculty, staff, students, and members of our community as we build out the search committee,” Boehne said. “This is important work, and also time consuming. I hope those of you asked to participate will be willing and eager to help select the next president of our outstanding university.”

Boehne also calls on the NKU community to provide input as it drafts the job description for the next president.

“You’ll soon see an extensive schedule of open forums on and off campus to gather feedback from the entire NKU community,” Boehne said. “We also have the results from the recent presidential assessment, which will be helpful as we craft the profile. This period of information gathering is one of the most critical phases of the search.”

Boehne acknowledged that transitions can be stressful, but also provide an opportunity to “recalibrate and consider what traits and experiences are most critical for our next president.”

The target schedule outlined in the RFP calls for naming a search firm in early March; information-gathering in the late March and early April months; targeting and interviewing candidates over the summer; and concluding the process early in the fall semester.

The timeline for selection of a new president was included in a previously published NKyTribune story which can be found here  .

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