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Gov. Beshear calls for independent review of KSU's finances

Posted at 10:24 AM, Jul 20, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear has requested a full, independent, and transparent accounting of Kentucky State University (KSU)'s finances as the historically Black college prepares for a $50 million campus project.

The governor signed an executive order to ensure the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) has the necessary tools to provide guidance and oversight during the review.

“My administration will continue to support KSU and work with the interim leadership, regents and the Council on Postsecondary Education to keep students and the future of the university at the forefront, and ensure stability and transparency at one of our vital institutions,” Gov. Beshear said. “KSU has been a unique and essential institution in the commonwealth for more than a century, serving generations of students as Kentucky’s historically Black land-grant university. My administration is committed to getting KSU through this so that the school can continue to provide high-quality education to students for generations to come.”

The announcement comes as the Kentucky State University's Board of Regents accepted President Christopher Brown's resignation at a special meeting on Tuesday.

The regents called the meeting to address financial concerns and hire an outside auditor to “review the current financial status of Kentucky State University,” according to the board’s agenda. The college is currently preparing for a $50 million campus project.

Brown initially tendered his resignation on July 14. The regents voted to accept in a closed-door session Tuesday.

The university is about to move ahead with a debt-financed, 400-bed dormitory and dining hall approved by the Kentucky legislature.

Brown recently asked the board to approve a new line of credit authorization. KSU’s annual standing line of credit last year was raised to $5 million as a “precaution,” according to school financial officials.

The university has also been fighting a half-dozen lawsuits this year alleging various acts of misconduct by its leaders, including Brown.

Brown was named the 18th president of Kentucky State in 2017 after serving in leadership roles at leading HBCUs in Louisiana and Mississippi. His resignation from KSU is effective immediately.

Clara Ross Stamps, the school's senior vice president for brand identity and university relations, will serve as acting president.