St. Cloud State University’s Interim President, Ashish Vaidya will be leaving the university come June 30, 2018. Vaidya has accepted the position of president at Northern Kentucky University, effective July 1, 2018.
Vaidya came into the role of interim president at a challenging time after the previous president, Earl H. Potter III died unexpectedly in a car crash in June of 2016. Vaidya was signed onto a two-year contract with St. Cloud State University.
Minnesota State Interim Chancellor, Devinder Malhotra, said after Potter’s passing, St. Cloud State University needed a leader who could both keep the university moving forward in a positive direction, as well as one that could help the school heal.
“He did just that,” Chancellor Malhotra said. “President Vaidya mourned along with students, faculty, staff, and the community but also gave them something to hope for. A stronger and better university – a stronger and better St. Cloud.”
As his time as president, Vaidya led efforts to raise $4.1 million, giving to a 22% increase over the previous year, along with securing $18 million for the Eastman Hall project by working with legislative delegation and implementing a strategic plan that focused on growing enrollment and retention rates.
“His leadership was perhaps best witnessed during the events that followed the St. Cloud Crossroads Mall stabbing,” Chancellor Malhotra said. “President Vaidya along with university and community leaders came together in an incredible demonstration of support.”
Vaidya stated that he had reached the stage in his career where he was ready for a permanent Presidency.
“As I began exploring opportunities in early Fall, I found that Northern Kentucky University was an institution in whose service I could make a difference,” Vaidya said. “It is not unlike SCSU, and the lessons I learned during my time as Interim President at St. Cloud State University have been formative and I will carry them with me for the rest of my career.”
Chancellor Malhotra received positive feedback from internal and external stakeholders during his recent visit to campus, which prompted him to develop a path to retain Vaidya.
“In my conversations with President Vaidya, he shared how difficult this decision was for him. I respect his decision as he pursues the next phase of his professional career.”
Vaidya told the professors and staff of St. Cloud State University that after he has moved on, he will be watching their successes from afar. “And [I] will continue to be in awe of the tremendous work you all do for your students every day. Until then, I intend to keep us all focused on serving our students and our region. They deserve nothing less.”
Minnesota State and Chancellor Malhotra will begin a national search immediately for a replacement. The services of AGB Search have been secured and a search chair will be named by the end of this week, as well as a timeline of events to be shared in the coming week, according to Chancellor Malhotra.