Interim President Vaidya Leaving SCSU
ST. CLOUD -- We now know St. Cloud State University's Interim President Ashish Vaiyda will not get the job permanently.
President Vaidya announced Thursday he has accepted a position as President of Northern Kentucky University. Vaidya will be staying at SCSU through the end of June. He starts his new position July 1.
Interim Provost Dan Gregory says Vaidya was able to step up and lead St. Cloud State after the unexpected death of former President Earl Potter.
"From the beginning what was really impressive to me was Ashish's ability to understand that people were grieving and needed time to heal and giving them time to do that. But yet at the same time inspiring them to continue on and continue to move forward."
Gregory says Vaidya's leadership skills shined as a strength not only after Potter's death but also during last year's Crossroads Center stabbing attack.
"He very quickly stepped into a role of calm and thoughtfulness and connected with multiple constituencies not just in the institution but the community. He stood up with others and said this is our community, this isn't who we represent and we're not going to allow an incident to divide us."
Besides overcoming tragedies, Vaidya is credited with helping create a strategic plan to grow enrollment and retention rates at SCSU. This Fall, SCSU still saw a decline in enrollment but the decline was not a severe as projected.
Vaidya also led an initiative that raised $4.1 million for the university as well as worked closely with legislators to finally get funding for the $18 million Eastman Hall project. Eastman Hall construction is already in the works and expected to be completed by Fall of 2019.
Interim Chancellor Devinder Malhotra says in his brief time as chancellor Vaiyda made St. Cloud State a better and stronger university through his leadership, which in turn made a stronger and better St. Cloud.
The search for a permanent president has already begun. Malhotra says they have a goal to fill the position by the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
Vaidya's last day as Interim President will be June 30 of next year. He took over in the summer of 2016 after former President Potter died in a car crash.