Northern Kentucky University
Geoffrey S. Mearns became NKU¹s fifth president August 1, 2012. Prior to coming to NKU, he was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Cleveland State University, a public university with more than 16,000 students.
Mearns became provost at CSU in February 2010. In this role, he led the most successful re-accreditation process in CSU's history, and he co-chaired a task force that developed CSU's new budget methodologies. Mearns also spearheaded CSU's concerted and comprehensive efforts to improve undergraduate retention and graduation rates.
Prior to becoming provost, he spent four and a half years as dean and professor of law at CSU¹s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. During his tenure as dean, he was actively engaged in fundraising for the law school, 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 substantially, and the quality and diversity of the law school's class improved. Mearns also oversaw continual improvement in the school's bar passage rates. At Cleveland-Marshall, Mearns 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 practicing lawyer for more than 15 years, including serving as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice. His extensive record of community service includes serving as chair of three federal judicial screening committees and serving as a trustee for several Cleveland nonprofit agencies. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Science Community, which issued a groundbreaking study in 2009.
He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Yale University in 1981 and a juris doctor from the University of Virginia in 1987. After graduating from law school, he clerked for the Hon. Boyce F. Martin, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Louisville. Mearns and his wife, Jennifer, have five children: Bridget, Christina, Clare, Molly, and Geoffrey, Jr.