Campus growth, change is priority

The first and only forum for students to speak about their concerns and opinions on who should succeed James Votruba as Northern Kentucky University’s president took place Oct. 27.

The student forum was held in the University Center Ballroom and was led by Michelle Cruz-Williams, vice president and director of Isaacson, Miller, the executive search firm hired by NKU to assist in the search.

A major concern voiced by the students at the forum was the new president’s relationship with students.

“Building relationships with students through the Office of Student Life is extremely important for the next president,” said SGA President Dustin Robinson. “They need to be willing to listen to the consensus of students.”

Students felt the new president should be focused on student groups and student life.

David Trump, a freshman theatre major, wants someone “well rounded in the sense of support for every organization.” Sophomore public relations major Tyler White thinks the president should respect the diversity of the university, and also build on the expansion and opportunities for the different organizations.
Another key quality in a new president students mentioned was one who would be comfortable with growth of a campus. Since NKU is looking to make the transition to Division I, students like senior electronic media and broadcasting major Ryan Hall said the president should have experience at a D-I school.
“[The new president] should have some understanding of taking that big step,” Hall said.

Junior physics and theatre major Elly Hall thinks the new president should be “fundamentally based on growth and change.” She also said they should be comfortable with it, realize that growth should be within the university’s own means, and help expand the lesser-known departments. Ryan Hall believes that the president should also embrace the university’s technological growth and continue to expand it across campus.

Cruz-Williams liked the “diversity of thought” that came from the students and said their ideas were “very engaging.”
Students who did not attend the forum can ask questions and voice their opinion at

“Students here did engage, and that’s what we wanted,” said Joseph Fons, a senior communication study major and a member of the search committee. “And students can still engage on the website.”