The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation


Dreams Know No Bounds

The pursuit of dreams knows no bounds. It isn't limited to the young, the old, the rich or the poor. It requires a vision and the tenacity to follow them through to their full realization; a profound belief that one person can, and will, make a difference. For students, NKU is a place to nurture those dreams. Students of all ages walk onto campus, backpacks straining under the weight of books and laptops, ready to chase the dream of a college education and the chance for a better life.

Ralph Haile was a dreamer, too. He and his wife dreamed of a Northern Kentucky that prospered financially and provided opportunities for everyone to have a bright and secure future. He dreamed of taking the region to the next level. For nearly 30 years, Northern Kentucky University has been a part those dreams. And now, many of those dreams are becoming a reality with the help of a $15 million gift to the college of business.

"Ralph Haile was but one of a handful of people who refuse to abandon dreams the rest of us may consider impossible," said James Votruba, president of NKU, while announcing the gift at the university's fall convocation in 2008. "The gift positions NKU to meet critical regional business needs and provides a lasting legacy to the Hailes."

"NKU is a beacon on the landscape of Northern Kentucky," said Timothy Maloney, president and CEO of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. "This gift makes a bold statement. And there is no more appropriate way to celebrate Ralph Haile's legacy than to endow and strengthen the resources of NKU to create new generations of leadership for our region."

The gift is historic both for the university and for the foundation. It is the largest gift ever to NKU and matches the largest single-source gift ever to a public university in the commonwealth.

Details of the Gift

The gift has established endowed chairs for faculty and support for faculty recruitment, retention and development, as well as provided scholarships to support business students and their international experiences. It has expanded NKU's cutting-edge Finance Investment Program. The college is now named The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./US Bank Foundation College of Business, but the name isn't the only thing that will change. Through the creation of the first endowed chair for a college of business dean in Kentucky -- the Haile/US Bank Leadership Chair in Business -- NKU will be able to retain strong leadership for the college in a very competitive market. The dean also will have the resources needed to stimulate programmatic and learning innovations within the college, support faculty and students in their endeavors, and seize unexpected opportunities. Additionally, the gift will create three endowed chairs for faculty.

The Haile/US Bank chairs in business have set the tone for excellence in all areas of faculty responsibility -- teaching, applied research, service and outreach. They have set examples to the college's entire faculty for the pursuit of excellence and provided a strong foundation upon which to build a great faculty through mentoring, collaboration and enhanced faculty recruitment.

Long-Term Impact

Recruiting and retaining the world's best faculty has been a top priority, particularly in light of a worldwide shortage in Ph.D. faculty. Good faculty members are in high demand, and as a result the cost of hiring new tenure-track professors is rapidly escalating. The gift strengthens NKU's ability to attract and retain the best professors -- from around the world -- by supplementing salaries via endowed chairs and faculty fellowships and providing funding for key faculty development activities.

The gift will further help to internationalize the Highland Heights campus through enhanced recruitment of international business faculty and the establishment of additional teaching and scholarly activity with global colleagues, whose perspectives from around the world can be brought back and shared with NKU students.

More than a third ($5.5 million) has gone toward endowing student support for scholarships, fellowships and international educational experiences. Enhanced academic and international scholarship opportunities will assist in recruiting and retaining the best business students and bringing a global perspective to all NKU business classes. The Haile/US Bank Foundation International Scholars Program will enable more local students to study abroad, creating a greater appreciation of world cultures, languages and markets.

For more information, please visit

Read the press release from August 20, 2008 (pdf).