UPDATE: Beshear signs bill ordering a replacement of KSU board

The governor must appoint eight new board members by April 4, 2022

Update from March 28, 2022:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a bill into law that will replace Kentucky State University’s Board of Regents.

The bill, which requires Beshear appoint eight new board members by April 4, received bipartisan support in both chambers. The Democratic governor signed the bill Friday.

KSU, the state’s only public historically Black university, has remained under state oversight since last summer, when concerns about the school’s finances and lawsuits alleging misconduct by campus officials came to a head.

A state report, ordered by Beshear, later found evidence of poor financial management by university leadership.

Senate President Pro Tem David Givens has said that a new board must “be in place and confirmed by the Senate” before the university receives the $23 million officials have requested. A House bill that would appropriate the funds is awaiting a Senate vote.

 

Update from March 17, 2022:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s lawmakers voted to replace Kentucky State University’s Board of Regents.

Under the new legislation, Gov. Andy Beshear must appoint eight board members by April 4.

The bill, which received bipartisan support in both chambers, now heads to the governor.

 

Update from March 8, 2022:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State University’s Board of Regents would have to be replaced by April 1 under a bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear would be able to appoint eight new board members, who would be confirmed by the Senate.

The bill still needs House passage before it is sent to Beshear.

Kentucky’s sole public historically Black university has been under state oversight since last summer, when worries over the school’s financial well-being and lawsuits alleging misconduct by campus officials came to a head.

Beshear ordered a review into university finances by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education that found evidence that poor management by KSU leadership resulted in financial losses beginning in 2018-19.

In January, university officials asked the General Assembly for $23 million in special appropriations by April in order to stabilize the school’s finances.

Senate President Pro Tem David Givens acknowledged the urgent need for funding and said that the Senate soon plans to take up the bill that would provide the $23 million. Having a new board in place, he added, would help the university get back on track to succeed.

“There have been lots of discussions about the internal culture of the Board of Regents,” he said. “We’ve got to get that right.”

 

Original story below from March 7, 2022:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky senate panel unanimously approved legislation Monday that would require Kentucky State University’s Board of Regents to be replaced by April 1.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear would be able appoint eight members of an all-new board, which would be confirmed by the senate.

Three spots would go to members elected by the students, faculty and staff.

Senate President Pro Tem David Givens, lead sponsor of the legislation, explained that a new board must “be in place and confirmed by the Senate” before the university received the $23 million officials said are vital for the school’s survival.  Still, if KSU doesn’t meet certain benchmarks over the next few years, the university could be closed, Givens said.

“But, if we do everything we can do within our power and we fail, we’ll have to close the doors,”

Last summer, worries over Kentucky’s sole public historically black university’s financial well-being and lawsuits alleging misconduct by campus officials came to a head when the former president, M. Christopher Brown II, resigned suddenly.

Gov. Andy Beshear then placed the university under state oversight and ordered a review into university finances by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

While KSU has reported earlier in 2021 that it received positive results from an annual independent financial audit, the councils’ report found evidence that poor management by university leadership resulted in financial losses beginning in 2018-19.

University officials told lawmakers in January that their request for $23 million from the state was necessary to get the institution’s finances back on track.

The Kentucky House has passed a separate bill that would appropriate the funds, but it has yet to be approved by the Senate.

CPE President Aaron Thompson, told lawmakers on Monday that KSU needed the money by the end of the month and urged the lawmakers to move quickly.

“This is not a joke,” he said. “So, if we are going to have a new board, we need to get these folks seated soon.”

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