First VP candidate meets with campus community

The first of four candidates for the position of vice president for administration and finance didn’t have to go very far to meet with members of the campus community April 15.

Ken Ramey, the current assistant vice president of business operation/auxiliary services at NKU is the only candidate who is currently employed by the university.

He’s up against two people who have held the vice president of administration and finance position at Central Michigan University and the University of Nevada, Reno, and the chief financial officer at Central Missouri State University.

Ramey received his bachelor’s degree in 1974 from NKU.

He came back to the university in 1977 as assistant bursar and has since served as senior buyer, assistant director of business/auxiliary services and director of business/auxiliary services.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes here, obviously,” said Ramey.

Among the departments he oversees in his current positions are the Bookstore, Bursar, Dining Services, Purchasing and All-Card.

“The bottom line is, we’re a service organization,” he said.

The vice president for administration and ainance oversees business operations and auxiliary services, the office of the Comptroller, Human Resources, Public Safety, Campus Planning, the Physical Plant, Architecture and Construction Services and Financial and Operational Auditing.

Mike Baker, the current vice president for administration and finance, is retiring in April.

A search committee was appointed and came up with four candidates, who are scheduled to visit the university by the first week in May.

“We feel like this is a strong pool of candidates,” said Rogers Redding, vice president for academic affairs and provost and the chair of the search committee.

He said the visits and meetings give the candidates a chance to see the campus if they haven’t already.

The search committee also receives feedback from evaluation forms that are handed out at the end of the meetings.

Ramey said the largest challenge the university faces in the future, besides budget constraints, is “keeping up with growth.”

“We have tremendous space limitations,” he said.

The university is currently moving ahead on a new student union, which will offer more space to departments as well as meeting space for campus organizations.

“We need to be able to reallocate space,” he said.

Ramey said he’d also like to see the options attached to the All-Card expand, possibly including local restaurants and other businesses close to campus.

He said more staff members in that department are needed if the program is going to grow.

“We’d love to expand it but there are challenges there as well,” he said.

Ramey discussed some of the high points in his career, including successfully managing the bookstore.

He also talked about one of his decisions that ‘bombed,” when he made the mistake of thinking “a soft drink is a soft drink,” and brought 7-UP and RC Cola products to campus only to watch soft drink sales fall.

Ramey said he tries to get feedback from the Student Government Association and the RHA to find out what their concerns are.

“They’re not hesitant to tell you if you ask them,” he said.

Melvin Klinkner, chief financial officer at Central Missouri State University, is the next candidate scheduled to visit campus.

He will meet with the University community on April 23 at 10 a.m., in Administrative Center room 506.