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Indian American Ashish Vaidya named president of North Kentucky University

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The Mumbai Xavier’s College alumnus is currently an interim president of St. Cloud (Minn.) State University.

Ashish Vaidya

North Kentucky University (NKU) has named Indian American Ashish Vaidya as its sixth president.

Vaidya, who is currently serving a two-year term as interim president of St. Cloud (Minn.) State University (SCSU), is expected to assume the role on July 1, 2018.

“As NKU’s president, Dr. Vaidya will champion the university’s mission and core values, charting an adventurous course and communicating the strategic priorities clearly with internal and external stakeholders,” the university said in a statement.

The board of regents unanimously named Vaidya as president after the presidential search committee recommended him following an eight-month process.

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“We knew what we wanted in our next leader,” Rich Boehne, chair of NKU’s board of regents, told “Someone who reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of NKU, and I feel confident that Ashish is that person. In my conversations with him, it’s clear he will be a dynamic leader who will champion our causes and build on our strong foundation.”

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As the interim president of SCSU, Vaidya serves as the campus CEO and oversees all operations and the university’s strategic direction. He also manages the school’s $210 million operating budget.

Prior to his tenure at SCSU, he served as the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Before SCSU, Vaidya served at two different campuses in the California State University system, most recently as a special advisor to the president for regional economic development at Cal State Los Angeles.

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From 2010-2014, he served as Cal State L.A.’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. Before that, he was dean of faculty at Cal State Channel Islands, where he helped to build a new institution from the ground up.

Born in India, Vaidya has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, India, and a master’s and doctorate from the University of California Davis.

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Vaidya has published numerous books and articles, including serving as an editor of Operationalizing Stewards of Place: Implementing Regional Engagement and Economic Development Strategies, a 2015 publication of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

He is married to Nita Vaidya, a sociologist. They have two children: Jaanhvi, a management consultant with Accenture; and Avaneesh, a senior at the University of Arizona.

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