Kentucky State President Resigns Amid Financial Concerns

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State University’s president resigned Tuesday amid concerns about the school's financial health and lawsuits alleging misconduct by campus officials.

The school's Board of Regents accepted M. Christopher Brown II's resignation at a specially called meeting, news media outlets reported. Brown’s resignation comes after four years on the job.

The regents named Clara Ross Stamps as the school’s acting president. Stamps has been a senior vice president and spokeswoman at the university.

The board also voted to hire auditors to review the school’s financial situation. Stamps declined afterward to provide any information about possible problems or the reason for Brown’s departure, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Brown’s departure comes amid a half-dozen lawsuits pending this year accusing college officials, including Brown, of various acts of misconduct, the Lexington newspaper reported.

Gov. Andy Beshear, in support of an a “full, independent and transparent” audit of the university's finances, signed an executive order Tuesday that directs the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to assess the current financial status of KSU, and provide a report to the Governor.

“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.”

KSU was also ordered to provide access to any records the council deems necessary to preparing the assessment.

Some regents had previously reached out to Beshear’s administration with concerns about the school.

KSU’s budget this fiscal year is $49.9 million, of which $27.1 million comes from the state’s General Fund. The legislature last year authorized a $55.5 million bond to build a 400-bed dormitory and dining hall at the historically Black college using private financing.

Brown resigned as president of Mississippi’s Alcorn State University in 2013, amid a state investigation into university purchasing practices.