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The Board of Regents of Kentucky State University, a public, historically Black land-grant university has launched a national search for the 19th President of the University. The next President will have significant impact on the future of the University, its role in the community, and its impact in the region and state. As the executive officer of the University, the President provides visionary leadership and transparent stewardship to accomplish the mission and goals of the University.
About the University
Kentucky State University (KSU) is a public, comprehensive, historically Black land-grant university located in Frankfort. The University is committed to advancing the Commonwealth of Kentucky, enhancing society, and impacting individuals by providing quality teaching with a foundation in liberal studies, scholarly research, and public service to enable productive lives within the diverse global economy.
Founded in 1886 as the State Normal School for Colored Persons and named a land-grant college under the Second Morrill Act of 1890, Kentucky State University became Kentucky’s second state-supported institution of higher learning.
Today, the University is one of the most diverse institutions among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the nation and the most diverse among the state’s public universities. KSU is split nearly 50/50 between African American students and non-Black students. Additionally, this same ratio applies to the employees of the University.
Kentucky State has an enrollment of approximately 2,200 students and 135 full-time faculty members. The University’s student-faculty ratio is the lowest among public institutions of higher learning in Kentucky.
Students have the opportunity to receive an associate degree in two disciplines; a baccalaureate degree in 22 majors, several of which have optional specializations; a master’s degree in eight disciplines; and a doctoral degree in nursing practice. KSU’s location in the capital city of Frankfort affords the University the opportunity to offer unique and outstanding state government student internships.
KSU is organized into three academic colleges:
Accreditation Reaffirmation - In 2019, Kentucky State reaffirmed its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The University received the best possible review with the committee finding KSU in full compliance and offering no recommendations or requests for continued monitoring. SACSCOC reaffirmed Kentucky State’s accreditation for the next 10 years.
Kentucky State demonstrates its high bar of excellence with national accreditation of many of its academic programs, including Education, Nursing, Social Work, Public Administration, Business Administration, and Music.
Quality Enhancement Plan - As part of the reaffirmation process, Kentucky State developed a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): “Learning that Works.” This program seeks to introduce students to essential skills for career readiness through a required freshman-level class, “Navigating the Technological World,” that focuses on the past, present, and future of technology. As part of the class, the students learn several approaches to critical thinking and problem-solving, including design thinking, systems thinking, and ethical thinking. The skills are acquired through a teamwork-based approach which culminates in a group project that seeks solutions for problems brought about by the contemporary, technology-driven world.
Prestigious Membership - In 2020, Kentucky State University became the first public historically Black institution, the first college in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and only the second Morrill Land-grant Act of 1890 institution to be granted membership in the prestigious Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). Founded in 1987, COPLAC has 29 current members. Membership is limited to public universities and colleges that demonstrate a dedication to liberal arts education as the best and most comprehensive preparation for a life of purpose and meaning within society.
The Role of a Land-grant Institution - As a land-grant college through the second Morrill Act of 1890, Kentucky State conducts research, provides cooperative extension services, and teaches programs in the food and agricultural sciences that serve the state and nation. KSU’s 882-acre campus includes a 307-acre agricultural research farm and a 306-acre environmental education center. The School of Agriculture, Communities, and the Environment (ACE) offers two undergraduate and two graduate degree programs and multiple certificate programs. The ACE has nationally and internationally recognized research programs in aquaculture (fish farming), organic agriculture, sustainable biofuel feedstock production, alternative fruit and nut crops, ecological entomology, alternative pesticides and water quality, global information systems, agroforestry, goat production, biotechnology, obesity and human health, and apiculture.
Scholarships and Gifts - Kentucky State and Bulleit Frontier Whiskey recently announced a partnership that includes an annual scholarship of $25,000 to students in the Master of Science in Environmental Studies program over a five-year period. Diageo North America, the holding company of Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, has made a broader $10 million commitment to fund permanent endowments at 25 HBCUs to develop future leaders and help shape a more equitable society, which includes a $1 million gift to Kentucky State.
In addressing the food desert in West Louisville, where the nearest grocery store is 10 miles away and no restaurant is nearby, Kentucky State’s agriculture program will work with the community to develop various gardening practices to help alleviate the problem until a grocer for the area can be identified and implemented. The University also will work with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to assist in the delivery of public assistance, social support services, and health and nutrition services to the area.
Athletics - Kentucky State intercollegiate athletic teams, Thorobreds, participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, and indoor and outdoor track and field. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, softball, and volleyball.
The President of Kentucky State University will be a visionary leader and strategic thinker who will bring outstanding administrative experience, strong character and integrity, and a commitment to the mission of the University. The successful candidate will value Kentucky State’s culture, community, and heritage, especially its role as one of the nation’s leading HBCUs.
The President will have a proven leadership style that evokes trust, welcomes collaboration, reflects confident decision making, and effectively engages the talents and experiences of the administration, faculty, and staff. This executive officer will enhance the connectedness of each part of the University community and will booster Kentucky State’s commitment to scholarship, multiculturalism, and diversity.
The President will foster a vibrant and empowered working and learning environment that reflects the University’s commitment to being a student-centered institution and promotes activities and programs designed for student success as well as students’ personal and academic development and mental health. This leader will have an appreciation for the faculty’s work in teaching, learning, creativity, and scholarship, and a willingness to support and enhance these endeavors.
Together, with the abilities to balance and prioritize, the President will possess discernment and judgment to assess, modify, and find a coherent path on which the University can pursue its mission and goals. A confident and perceptive administrator, the President will be able to ask the tough questions, make the difficult decisions, and pursue a strong strategic course of action that ensures the institution successfully moves forward. This administrator will understand the importance of working collaboratively with others and finding common ground among diverse viewpoints, while bringing about data-driven results through decisive, adaptive, and innovative actions.
The President will be an experienced, transparent financial steward who has overseen complex budgets and has worked with a governing board to develop and implement strategies to sustain and, over time, fortify an institution’s financial position. This executive officer will seek partnerships that strengthen and expand programs and, as the principal fund raiser for the institution, will maintain established and develop new relationships, both public and private, that result in increased financial resources to achieve goals.
Both articulate and compelling, the President will support the significant role the institution plays in the community at large. Fully embracing the role of Kentucky State’s chief ambassador, the President will become engaged in the community, region, and state to advocate for the University and to share its story of success.
The President currently has nine direct reports: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Senior Vice President for Brand Identity and University Relations, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for Student Engagement and Campus Life, Director of Government Relations and Economic Innovation, Director of Athletics, General Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Business Manager of Executive Operations.
The President reports to and serves at the pleasure of the Kentucky State University Board of Regents, the University’s governing body. The Board consists of 11 members, including a staff representative, student representative, faculty representative, and eight Governor-appointed members. The President will collaborate, communicate, and counsel with the Board of Regents to create a team that works seamlessly to advance the mission of the University.
The successful candidate will have an earned terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution and at least seven years of progressively responsible leadership experience in an academic or professional role.
APPLICATION & NOMINATION PROCESS
Application packet must include: a) A letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and qualifications of the position, shared governance, diversity, and the importance of HBCUs; b) Current curriculum vitae, and c) At least four references with full contact information including e-mails (References will not be contacted without consent from applicant.)
Submit application packet (preferably as PDFs) to KentuckyState@myersmcrae.com.
Additional information will be requested upon receipt of application.
Review of applications begins immediately. For best consideration, submit applications by March 15, 2022. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Submit nominations to KentuckyStatefirstname.lastname@example.org with complete contact and e-mail information for the individual being nominated.
Kenny Daugherty, President of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, is assisting Kentucky State University with this search. Request a conversation at KennyDaugherty@MyersMcRae.com.
Kentucky State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and educational institution and does not discriminate on the basis of age (40 and over), color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, national origin, political belief, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status in the admission to, or participation in, any educational program or activity (e.g., athletics, academics and housing) which it conducts, or in any employment policy or practice.