Dr. James C. Votruba

President Emeritus; Professor of Educational Leadership
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, Kentucky
United States

Focus Areas

Higher Education
Organizational Development / Management


Dr. James C. Votruba is President Emeritus and Professor of Educational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University where he served as President from 1997-2012. He served formerly as Vice Provost for University Outreach and Professor of Higher Education at Michigan State University, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development and Professor of Educational Leadership at Binghamton University, and in various administrative and faculty positions at Drake University and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Dr. Votruba is currently a full time faculty member in the Northern Kentucky University educational leadership doctoral program where he teaches courses in organizational leadership, organizational effectiveness and alignment, and public engagement. He has served as a faculty member in both the American Association of State College and Universities (AASCU) New Presidents’ Academy and the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education. He is past chair of the AASCU Board of Directors and chaired both the AASCU Task Force on College Readiness and the AASCU Task Force on Public Engagement. He also served as President of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, and as a member of the National Campus Compact Board of Directors, and the Association of Governing Boards Council of Presidents. During his tenure as NKU’s president, the Board of Regents was cited as one of the highest performing governing boards in the country and the university’s strategic planning process was the subject of a Harvard higher education case study. Dr. Votruba has served in a variety of regional and statewide leadership roles devoted to advancing education, economic, and social progress. He chaired Vision 2015 which developed a comprehensive strategic plan for the northern Kentucky region. He currently serves on a variety of boards and his work on behalf of state and regional priorities has been recognized through a broad range of awards and recognitions. His most recent publications include Becoming an Engaged Campus (Jossey-Bass, 2011) and “Achieving and Sustaining High Performance” (Public Service, AASCU, 2012).