Report released assessing Kentucky State University finances
CPE report says KSU must cultivate culture of accountability, transparency, compliance
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear released a report Friday by the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) assessing the current financial status of Kentucky State University (KSU).
In July, after members of the KSU Board of Regents and CPE voiced concerns about the university’s financial status, Gov. Beshear requested and authorized the assessment from CPE.
“When I heard about KSU’s financial situation, I asked for a full, independent and transparent accounting of the university’s finances, and today we are releasing the findings of that assessment,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are committed to KSU and, as one of two Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Kentucky, KSU must be put on a path to stability so it is able to continue providing a high-quality education for generations to come.”
The report by CPE highlights poor financial management by university leadership in recent years that resulted in significant operating deficits. The assessment also notes that KSU’s productivity has declined compared with peer institutions.
CPE offers 14 recommendations to remedy the issues outlined in the report. Key among them is that KSU must cultivate a culture of accountability, transparency and compliance.
In a response, the KSU Board of Regents expressed appreciation for the report, the support and the guidance.
“In light of the release of the assessment of the financial status of Kentucky State University by the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) and Gov. Andy Beshear’s office, the Kentucky State University Board of Regents would like to thank CPE President Dr. Aaron Thompson for the comprehensive financial assessment of the University as required by executive order,” said Dr. Elaine Farris, the chairperson of the Kentucky State University Board of Regents.
“Gov. Beshear expressed his commitment to Kentucky State and his desire for the University to be put on a path to stability so it may continue providing a high-quality education for generations to come. The Board of Regents appreciates Gov. Beshear’s support of Kentucky’s only public HBCU and understanding the intrinsic value of the work Kentucky State does to serve the residents of the Commonwealth. Kentucky State personnel have begun working on the recommendations of CPE and continue to move the University onward. The Board and the University look forward to working with CPE to establish an operational and financial path of accountability and transparency.
“Kentucky State understands it will no longer be business as usual. The management and improvement plan will guide the institution’s work. Together, we will work diligently with our stakeholders—faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters—to reposition the institution. The path onward and upward is through action, accountability, accessibility, communication, compliance, and transparency. We understand the responsibility entrusted to all of us to ensure Kentucky State continues to be a viable institution in order to serve its deserving and talented students. We need your continuous involvement and support.,” Farris continued.
“Failure is not an option. Failure to pay vendors on time is no longer an option. Failure to reimburse state construction accounts is no longer an option. Failure to follow the institution’s policies and procedures related to the collection of students receivables is not an option. We will make some difficult decisions ahead. The work will be long and arduous. The Thorobred spirit of Kentucky State will prevail,” she concluded.