Tuesday, April 25, 2000

NKU appoints former dean to provost position

By Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HIGHLAND HEIGHTS — A physicist who eschews “top down” administration became chief academic officer for Northern Kentucky University on Monday.

        Rogers W. Redding is President James Votruba's choice for provost and academic vice president.

        Dr. Redding, 57, has held both jobs on an interim basis since July 1. Before that, he was NKU's dean of arts and sciences.

        NKU's board is expected to make his appointment official at its May 10 meeting.

        Dr. Votruba said Dr. Redding was first among three candidates from a national search.

        “The faculty will be ecstatic,” Dr. Votruba predicted.

        Dr. Redding said broad campus support means he can “deal from a very strong position” as he reshapes NKU's strategic academic plan.

        In addition to his leadership style, Dr. Redding balances “traditional academic values” with the university's need to adapt to changing demands, Dr. Votruba said.

        He and Dr. Redding said the provost's tasks will include:

        ăRedefinition of general education/core courses.

        ăReconsideration of the mix of undergraduate and graduate programs and addressing each program's strengths and weaknesses.

        ăBuilding on the “huge plus” of undergraduate involvement in faculty research without sacrificing NKU's primary mission of teaching.

        ăReshaping the faculty as scholars of the 60s and 70s retire.

        ăRelations with the as-yet-unnamed community college to open somewhere in Northern Kentucky during this decade.

        He is cheered by new, high levels of support from the governor and legislature and President Votruba's success in bringing that money to the Highland Heights campus.

        Away from NKU, Dr. Redding is a former chorister, a jogger who plays racquetball, and a longtime college football referee who played a college football referee in the 1991 film Necessary Roughness.

        He earned his bachelor's in chemistry at Georgia Tech, a doctorate in physical chemistry at Vanderbilt and did post-doctoral research at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C. He was department chairman at the University of North Texas when he came to NKU in 1994 to be dean of arts and sciences and professor of physics. He succeeds Provost Paul Gaston, who took a similar post at Kent State University.


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