Top five things to know about Wednesday’s Board of Regents meeting

NKU’s Board of Regents met Nov. 13 to discuss and vote on issues spanning across various parts of the campus community.

Ranging from topics such as the the tobacco ban, to tuition versus state revenues, and even the future plans for the next five years for the entire university, the board was presented with hot-button issues and made decisions that could soon have a far-reaching impact.

Check out the list below to see the top five moments from the November 2013 Board of Regents meeting and check back to for further coverage of issues stemming from this month’s Board of Regents meeting.


5. Tobacco-free Policy


The board unanimously passed the NKU Tobacco-Free Policy which will prohibit the use of any and all tobacco products on the university’s campus starting January of 2014.

The plan for the ban was originally proposed last spring and the Tobacco-Free committee has been working ever since to help create the policy and work on marketing strategies.


4. Finance Update


Ken Ramey, vice president for administration and finances, and Russ Kerdolff, comptroller, presented to the Board of Regents on the university’s financial status.

According to Kerdolff, since 2008, the state’s funding of the university has dropped from 40 percent to 30 percent, leaving students to make up the difference, when viewed on an inflation-adjusted scale.

In fiscal year 2012, every student paid around $4,100 more than the average of comparable Kentucky schools (Morehead, EKU, WKU, and Murray), according to Kerdolff. In fiscal year 2013, each student paid $4,600 more than comparable Kentucky schools.

Kerdolff also reported that NKU distributes less student aid to its students than comparable Kentucky schools.

“That bothers me,” said Elizabeth Thompson, vice chair of the Board of Regents, “to think that we’re giving less student aid.”

Kerdolff explained that the school gives out less student aid because the school receives less state and federal funding for student aid programs, such as the federal Pell Grant, than other institutions.

But, the university does provide student aid, both merit-based and need-based. According to Ramey, the university gave out $11 million in student aid in 2012, and has given out $13 million in 2013.


3. Chase Law School


Jeffrey Standen, dean of the Salmon P. Chase College of Law,  presented enrollment and admissions data for the college of law and explained different ways the school hopes to evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of students pursuing a law degree.

There is a national trend for students to use law degrees for other things besides just becoming practicing attorneys, according to Standen, who also mentioned how some schools are having a hard time retaining both the quality and quantity of students enrolling in their programs.

2. Construction


Ken Ramey, vice president for administration and finance, gave an update on the ongoing plans for the new Campus Recreation Center and the recent opening of the Intramural Field Complex.

The 43-million-dollar project is planned to be completed in stages, according to Senior Project Manager/Associate Director Rob Knarr, in order to ensure that the center would not have to be fully closed down during the process.

Knarr added that the center will utilize a geothermal system to offset any further heating and cooling costs that may be associated with the expansion of the center.


1. Strategic Plan


The Board of Regents unanimously approved the university’s 2013-18 strategic plan, entitled “Fuel the Flame,” which will lead NKU through the next five years, up to the institution’s 50th anniversary.

The plan encompassed five main goals including student success, talent development, academic innovation, community engagement and institutional excellence.

President Geoffrey Mearns discussed the new mission statement of the university that the board adopted. He said that the main elements of the new mission were that NKU is an innovative and student-centered institution.

Mearns said that the implementation plans will begin in the spring semester. These plans include an academic master plan, an enrollment strategies plan, and a financial plan.

Mearns said that he would be putting together several implementation teams to create these plans.

On Jan. 29, there will be a collaboration retreat where these teams will come together to start implementing the strategic plan.

At the March 12 Board of Regents meeting, Mearns will present the implementation targets for the plan, and throughout the spring semester, the teams will be putting together different plans.