KSU board, July 20

A photo from the Kentucky State University Board of Regents meeting on Tuesday, shortly before the board went into closed session. (Austin Horn | The State Journal)

Gov. Andy Beshear called for a “full, independent and transparent” review into Kentucky State University’s finances on Tuesday.

Beshear signed an executive order empowering the Council on Postsecondary Education to conduct the review, giving the organization latitude to access all records, develop a “management and improvement plan” and make recommendations to the Board of Regents regarding administrative structure and leadership.

The announcement comes in the wake of former president M. Christopher Brown II resigning from his post on Tuesday amid regent questions about the school's finances.

In a press release, Beshear said that he hopes the review will promote stability and transparency at the university.

“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,” Beshear said. “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.”

CPE President Aaron Thompson, who served as interim president at KSU before Dr. M. Christopher Brown’s hiring, said that his organization was “poised and ready” to provide assistance to the school.

“KSU is vitally important to our higher education landscape as our state’s only public historically Black university, and as such, we are committed to its unequivocal success," Thompson said. "While we’ve been monitoring recent developments, our next step is to gather necessary information so we can provide as much assistance as possible.”

Beshear cited regents voicing concerns about the financial viability of the university as a cause for concern in his office. A spokesperson for the governor’s office previously confirmed to the State Journal that multiple members of the Board of Regents voiced their concerns about the university’s finances.

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