FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky State University faculty has voted and said it has no confidence in the current Board of Regents for the college. 

This comes after a months-long battle over who should become the next president of the Historically Black College. 

There were two separate no-confidence votes taken this week by the faculty of the University. The first was solely on the leadership of Board of Regents Chairwoman Dr. Karen Bearden. Faculty voted 50-30 to say they had no confidence her in leadership. 

A second no-confidence vote was also taken for the entire Board of Regents. Thirty-nine faculty members voted that they had no-confidence in Board while 30 voted that they did have confidence. 

A no-confidence vote for the Board of Regents and Chairwoman Bearden was first discussed in February. Ultimately, it was decided to move the matter for a vote by the full-faculty.

“We really want to move forward with the business of the university, but we are concerned with the leadership and with the things that are happening here on campus,” said faculty senate president Dr. Kimberly Sipes in February. 

Last May, Raymond Burse suddenly resigned as president. Dr. Aaron Thompson stepped in to fill that role on an interim basis. Thompson was not named as a finalist for the permanent position.

Earlier this month, the Board of Regents named Dr. M. Christopher Brown as new president. Brown is Provost at Southern University. Before his time at Southern and in 2014, he resigned as president of Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss.

An investigation by Mississippi’s College Board found violations in the way contracts for work on the president’s house were bid out. It also questioned the relationship between one of Brown’s staffers and a company that had repeated business with concerts on the campus of Alcorn State.

Board of Regents Chairwoman Karen Bearden has declined multiple interview request by WDRB since the beginning of February. 

In a prepared statement, Board of Regents Member Ekumene Lysonge said in part, “Our Board plans to use yesterday’s results as a catalyst for change. But, everyone has a stake in the success and future of KSU, and to the betterment of our most precious commodity, our students. We look forward to beginning the conversation on our path forward.” 

No-confidence votes by faculties at universities are largely ceremonial and do not result in change as a direct result. Board members for universities are appointed by the Governor’s office and can be removed by the Governor. An email to a spokesperson for Governor Matt Bevin had not been returned at the time this story was published.  


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