FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The man chosen by Gov. Andy Beshear to oversee the investigation into Kentucky State University says he wants to see the state’s largest HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) not just survive, but thrive after President Christopher Brown resigned Tuesday amidst allegations of financial and other misconduct.
“We want, more than anything else, to figure out exactly where we’re at in order to build off of it, to give our students the confidence that we’re providing them the best education possible,” said Aaron Thompson, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.
Beshear signed an executive order empowering the council to conduct what he said will be a "full, independent and transparent investigation" into the school's finances.
“We want to look to see exactly how we're spending money, how we're paying bills,” Thompson told WDRB News.
Thompson said the probe will likely go beyond money and include the school’s structure and practices.
“Yes, we have to make sure it's on a good financial footing, but we also have to make sure that we're providing the best student success story that we can," he said.
Thompson himself served as KSU's interim president in 2016-17, following earlier controversy.
“We feel like we got them on pretty good base by the time I left. So, we want to look at how we can do that again but even much more," he said.
Thompson said the governor, as well as leaders of the House and Senate, have expressed to him their commitment to KSU.
“Not just because it has the historical value of being an HBCU. I'm glad of that. That's the solid base. But it has an historical value of being a great educational institution," he said.
KSU's Board of Regents installed the school's Senior Vice President for Brand Identity and University Relations Clara Ross Stamps as acting president. She did not respond to an interview request.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ross said, “As the Kentucky State University community comes together, with a renewed appreciation for our collegiate campus atmosphere and a commitment to our core mission and values, I am humbled and energized by the opportunity to serve our students and community following what has certainly been a time of unprecedented change.”
KSU's Board of Regents will officially begin the search for a new president in September.
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