Tuesday, June 8, 2004

NKU president not pursuing Michigan State post

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS - Northern Kentucky University President James Votruba has ended speculation that he will be a candidate for the presidency of his alma mater.

Votruba issued a statement Monday saying he has notified NKU's Board of Regents "that I am not a candidate and have no plans to become a candidate for" the presidency at Michigan State University.

Votruba has three degrees from Michigan State: a bachelor's in political science, master's in political science and sociology, and doctorate in higher education administration. He also worked at the East Lansing school for eight years as vice provost for university outreach before taking over the presidency of NKU in 1997.

Two weeks ago, The State News, Michigan State's campus newspaper, reported that Votruba "hasn't denied interest" in replacing President M. Peter McPherson, who is stepping down Jan. 1.

"There has been considerable speculation in recent days concerning whether I will be a candidate for the Michigan State presidency," Votruba said in the statement. "This is understandable given the fact that I have all of my degrees from MSU and was employed there prior to coming to NKU. Over the past seven years, we have made tremendous progress at NKU. However, we still have more to do as we expand our capacity to serve both our students and our community."

State Rep. Jon Draud, the retired superintendent of Ludlow schools and an NKU instructor, said Votruba's impact on the university and the region has been immense.

"Jim Votruba is one of the best things that ever happened for this region," said Draud, an Edgewood Republican.

Draud said Votruba recently told him he wanted to stop the rumors about his interest in the Michigan State presidency.

"It does seem like a natural move," Draud said. "But I'm certainly glad he is staying."

E-mail pcrowley@enquirer.com

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