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Ashish Vaidya takes oath as NKU’s sixth president, as faculty, staff, students, community gather

Northern Kentucky University President Dr. Ashish Vaidya (AH-sheesh VIE-dyuh) took the oath to serve as NKU’s sixth president on March 29. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members gathered in BB&T Arena for the Installation Ceremony, which centered on the theme of Empowering the Future.
“I’m humbled by the opportunity to lead this great institution and honored to take the oath as NKU’s sixth president. Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to redefine and reclaim the narrative about the significance of a 21st-century public institution and the value of an NKU education,” said President Vaidya.  “Our campus is home to diverse learners, and we must meet their needs—no matter what age or stage they are at in their life. It is my belief that if we accept a student at this university, we have the moral obligation to ensure they receive every opportunity to meet their educational goals.”

The Hon. Michelle M. Keller, Kentucky Supreme Court Justice, administered the oath of office to President Vaidya. (Photo by David Bushle, NKU photographer)

President Vaidya’s longtime friend and mentor, Dr. Richard R. Rush, gave the keynote address.

Dr. Rush, president emeritus of California State University, Channel Islands, said, “I’m honored to participate in Ashish’s installation. Having known him for a long time, I’m certain that he will be an outstanding president for Northern Kentucky University.”
Other personal moments highlighted the ceremony, as President Vaidya’s daughter, Jaanhvi, and nieces, Alina Shah and Ruchira Shah, sang “In My Life,” a song by the Beatles.
The ceremony then transitioned into the formal installation into office. NKU Board of Regents’ Chair Lee Scheben and Vice Chair Andrá Ward presented the president’s medallion to President Vaidya, and the Honorable Michelle M. Keller, Kentucky Supreme Court Justice and Chase College of Law alumna, administered the oath of office.
Student Government Association President Hannah Edelen closed out the ceremony congratulating the president on the historic day for NKU.

Sen. Mitch McConnell also shared a message for the president.
“This is a special day not only for this university but also for our entire Commonwealth,” said Sen. McConnell. “Over the last few months, I’ve had multiple occasions to meet with President Vaidya and to hear about his vision for NKU. Each time we’ve spoken, I’ve been impressed by his passion and his enthusiasm to get to work for the Norse community. Along with its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, I look forward to seeing what you have in store for this great university.”
President Vaidya began his tenure as NKU’s sixth leader on July 1, 2018. He selected a spring Investiture Ceremony to allow time to understand the campus culture and the region.
President Vaidya came to NKU from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, where he served as interim president. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai, India), and a master’s and a doctorate from the University of California, Davis. He is married to Nita Vaidya, a sociologist. They have two children, Jaanhvi and Avaneesh.

President Vaidya and his wife, Nita.

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See these NKyTribune stories about Ashish Vaidya:

Vaidya era begins

New NKU president embraces challenges

Goals and what drew him to NKU

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