HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (March 26, 2012) – The Northern Kentucky University Presidential Search and Screening Committee announced today the identity of the third finalist in the search for NKU’s fifth president.
Geoffrey S. Mearns, who has served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Cleveland State University since February 2010, joins Frostburg (Maryland) State University President Dr. Jonathan C. Gibralter and Ferris State University (Michigan) President Dr. David L. Eisler as NKU’s presidential finalists.
“The caliber of these three finalists is evidence of NKU’s reputation in higher education nationally,” said Presidential Search and Screening Committee Chair Martin Butler. “Our applicant pool was outstanding, and we are very excited to bring our finalists to campus.”
Mearns will visit NKU April 9-10. Dr. Gibralter’s visit is scheduled for March 28-29 and Dr. Eisler’s visit is April 2-3. During their visits, the finalists will meet with the university’s regents, administrators, academic deans, faculty, staff and students as well as members of the business, government and general community.
About Geoffrey S. Mearns…
Geoffrey S. Mearns became provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Cleveland State University in 2010 after four and a half years as dean and professor of law at Cleveland State’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University and a juris doctor from the University of Virginia. Prior to his tenure at Cleveland State, Mearns was a successful federal prosecutor and a partner in two Cleveland law firms.
As provost, he oversees the academic deans and various academic support administrators such as the library; student advising and student services; and faculty recruitment and retention, promotion and tenure. Cleveland State is a public university with more than 16,000 students enrolled in eight colleges.
During his tenure as dean of Cleveland-Marshall Law, Mearns was actively engaged in fundraising for the college, helping to enhance its scholarship pool and overseeing an $8.8 million renovation of the law building. Under his leadership, alumni and private giving increased dramatically and the quality and diversity of the law school’s class improved. He also oversaw continual improvement in the Ohio bar passage rates.
At Cleveland-Marshall Law he taught complex federal criminal investigations and prosecutions, criminal law and white collar crime. He previously taught at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and New York Law School.
Prior to joining Cleveland State, Mearns was a partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP. He served as head of the Cleveland firm’s national Business Crimes and Corporate Investigations team, focusing on white-collar and corporate criminal matters and representing corporations and individuals in complex commercial litigation.
From 1989-98 he served the United States Department of Justice. His tenure as a federal prosecutor included prosecution of Terry Nichols, one of two defendants convicted for the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He also secured a conviction of Thomas Gambino of the famous New York crime family.
Means is or has been a member of numerous community and legal organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Science Community; Ohio State Bar Association Legal Education Reform Task Force; Ohio Law and Leadership Institute Board of Directors; Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland; and Children’s Aid Society.
He has published on numerous justice issues including domestic terrorism and the use of expert testimony in defending criminal antitrust cases. He has presented on the Oklahoma City bombing trial, forensic science, and legal ethics.
Biographical information on all three NKU presidential finalists will be posted on the NKU presidential search website at http://presidentialsearch.nku.edu.