|Northern Kentucky University|
Seal of Northern Kentucky University
|Motto in English||Quality-Made,
|President||Geoffrey S. Mearns|
|Campus||Suburban, 397 acres (1.61 km2)|
|Colors||Gold & White
|Mascot||Victor E. Viking|
|Affiliations||Atlantic Sun Conference|
Northern Kentucky University is a public, co-educational university in northern Kentucky located in Highland Heights, seven miles (11 km) southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. The university is primarily an undergraduate, liberal arts institution, but it also features graduate programs. Total enrollment at the university currently exceeds 15,000 students, with over 13,000 undergraduate students and over 2,000 graduate students. Northern Kentucky University is the third largest university, behind the University of Cincinnati and Miami University, but before Xavier University, of Greater Cincinnati's four large, four-year universities and the youngest of Kentucky's eight state universities, although it is not the last to join the state system, as the University of Louisville did not become a state university until 1970.
Notable among the university's programs are the Salmon P. Chase College of Law and the College of Informatics, founded in 2006. The university has been cited for academic quality and value by such publications as CIO Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. The University issues an annual report that recaps significant achievements by students, faculty, and staff.
Northern Kentucky University began in 1948, when an extension campus for the University of Kentucky was opened in Covington, Kentucky, known as the UK Northern Extension Center. After 20 years in operation as an extension center for UK, it became an autonomous four-year college under the name Northern Kentucky State College (NKSC). In 1970, Dr. W. Frank Steely was hired as the first president. The following year, the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, formerly an independent law school in Cincinnati, merged with Northern Kentucky State College. The main campus moved from Covington to Highland Heights, Kentucky in 1972. NKSC awarded its first bachelor's degrees in May 1973. Rapid expansion resulted in the school being upgraded to university status in 1976.
Since its founding in 1968 and elevation to university status in 1976, Northern Kentucky University has expanded with numerous construction projects, new colleges and a much larger, more diverse student body. The most recent former president of the university, Dr. James C. Votruba, is largely credited with transforming the image of the university since his arrival in 1997, helping to build the university's reputation as a respected academic institution. As part of Votruba's administration, the university has increased its admissions standards and improved the academic performance of its students. Northern Kentucky University also launched a new university logo and branding effort in 2002. In recent years, the university has also concentrated on the construction of new and improved facilities across campus.
Northern Kentucky University's main campus in Highland Heights, Kentucky is situated on 400 acres (1.6 km2) of rolling countryside along U.S. Route 27, just off of Interstate 275 and Interstate 471, seven miles (11 km) southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. The campus was built beginning in the early 1970s, and the first building, Nunn Hall, opened in 1972. Although most of the university's students commute daily to the campus, approximately 2,000 students live on campus. In recent years, the university has been in the process of expanding its campus and facilities. The $60 million Bank of Kentucky Center is a recently completed 9,400-seat arena. It serves as the primary venue for athletics on campus, and also as a venue for entertainment, such as live bands and concerts. The arena is named after The Bank of Kentucky, which made an endowment of $5 million toward construction. Additionally, a new $37 million, 144,000-square-foot (13,400 m2) Student Union building, which opened to students in August 2008, largely replaces an old university center and is designed to accommodate student needs on campus. The building includes cafeterias, stores, a game room, offices for student life programs, and other amenities for students. Other recent projects included the construction of a new parking garage to accommodate the arena and a European-style roundabout for traffic control and flow management. The most recent university master plan envisions a massive expansion of the campus by the year 2020, including multiple new academic buildings, housing developments, campus quad areas, athletic fields, parking lots and connector roads. The Landrum Academic Center houses an Anthropology Museum. The university campus is also the first educational institute in the world to have a laser-projection planetarium, as part of the Dorothy Westerman Hermann Natural Science Center. The Covington campus, located in Covington, Kentucky, closed at the end of 2008. It mainly served nontraditional and adult students and also hosted the Program for Adult-Centered Education and Emergency Medical Technology programs. Northern Kentucky University's Grant County Center, located in Williamstown, Kentucky, is a partnership between the Grant County Foundation for Higher Education and Northern Kentucky University. It houses Northern Kentucky educational programs and the Williamstown Innovation Center.
Northern Kentucky's main library is the W. Frank Steely Library, completed in 1975 and named after the first president of the university. A $9.1 million renovation and expansion project was completed in 1995. The library's five floors contain over 850,000 volumes, more than 18,000 bound periodicals, and approximately 1.4 million microforms. The two-floor Chase Law Library, Northern Kentucky's other library on campus, contains more than 313,000 volumes and 57,000 monographic and serial titles. The Francine Shapiro Library is hosted by Northern Kentucky University as a service to EMDR International Association. It is created by Dr. Barbara Hensley and the purpose of this Library is to provide information for clinicians, researchers, and lay people on the effectiveness and efficaciousness of EMDR for a wide range of mental health issues.
Corporate and university partnerships include The Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, the Fifth/Third Entrepreneurial Center, the Metropolitan Education and Training Services Center, The Center for Applied Informatics and Fidelity Investments. Other centers on campus include the Center for Applied Anthropology, the Institute for Freedom Studies, the Center for Applied Ecology, the Small Business Development Center, the Institute for New Economy Technologies, the Center for Environmental Education, the Center for Integrative National Science and Mathematics and the Chase Local Government Law Center.
Northern Kentucky University includes an international enrollment process, with many students hailing from Kentucky and Ohio, as well as Indiana. Northern Kentucky University students organize to form six colleges. The newest college is the College of Informatics, founded in 2006, replacing the College of Professional Studies.
Northern Kentucky University students are also a part of university-wide honors programs as well as individual chapters in numerous honor societies. Northern Kentucky's Alpha Beta Phi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the International History Honor Society, has won 18 consecutive best chapter awards.
Students may attend lecture-style debates between well-known conservative and liberal guests. NKU's Alumni Association Lecture Series has featured such guests as politicians Mario Cuomo, Alan Keyes, Steve Forbes, Newt Gingrich, George McGovern, Bob Dole and John Edwards; political strategists James Carville, Mary Matalin and Paul Begala; journalist Bob Woodward; and commentators George Stephanopoulos, George Will, Tucker Carlson and Al Franken. Most recently, the 2007 lecture featured former Republican political candidate Pat Buchanan and former Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Tom Daschle, and the 2008 lecture featured Karl Rove, the Republican political consultant and former Deputy Chief of Staff to George W. Bush and Dee Dee Myers, the Democratic strategist and former White House Press Secretary in the Clinton administration.
The university's teams for both men and women are nicknamed "Norse". Their mascot is named Victor E. Viking. Currently, Northern Kentucky University is part of the Atlantic Sun Conference. NKU is in the process of becoming a full Division I member. During this time, NKU will not be eligible for NCAA championships during the four-year reclassification period to Division I. The university fields teams in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, women's track and field, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball.
Students have also organized club teams in ice hockey,men soccer club, taekwondo, fencing, boxing, lacrosse , rugby, kickball, skeet & trap, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. These clubs are primarily organized through the Sport Club program.
National Panhellenic Conference
North-American Interfraternity Conference
National Pan-Hellenic Council
The Northerner is Northern Kentucky's award-winning, independent, student-run newspaper. It is also published online at TheNortherner.com via the College Publisher Network. The university is also home to an independent, student-run Internet radio station, Norse Code Radio, online at NorseCodeRadio.com. Northern Kentucky University is also host to the award-winning public radio station, WNKU, founded in 1986. The public can listen to the station live in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area on 89.7 FM, the Middletown/Dayton area on 105.9 FM, the Portsmouth/Ashland/Huntington area on 104.1 FM or worldwide at WNKU.org.
NorseMediaTV is the PEG access Public-access television cable TV station run by Northern Kentucky University. It airs on channel 818 on Cincinnati Bell Fioptics cable and 18 digital/96 analog on Insight Cable of Northern Kentucky. NorseMediaTV students and faculty produce many original programs, such as "Norse Access" - a weekly talk show, various sporting events and entertainment programming. Many NorseMedia programs have won awards at the local (Blue Chips), regional (Philos) and national (Telly) levels, usually in the professional categories. NorseMediaTV also produces live telecasts of NKU basketball, soccer, volleyball and softball games. Students in the Electronic Media & Broadcasting program at NKU are invited to create and assist in producing programs for the station. NorseMediaTV is online at norsemedia.nku.edu.
Northern Kentucky University has over 60,000 living alumni, approximately 41,000 of them in Ohio and Kentucky. Many have gone on to achieve success in a variety of fields, including athletics, journalism, business, and government.
Northern Kentucky University's presidents include: