More Healing Needs to Occur at Kentucky State University

Earlier this month, JBHE reported on the appointment of M. Christopher Brown as the next president of historically Black Kentucky State University. (See JBHE post.) Some members of the university community were not happy with the choice and wondered why interim president Aaron Thompson was not selected. Dr. Thompson was not even among the three finalists considered for the post.

Shortly after the announcement of the new president, the faculty at the university approved a resolution of no confidence in the university’s board of regents and its chair.

Interim president Thompson issued a statement saying in part, “If there was ever any doubt by anyone, the action by the Kentucky State University faculty yesterday made it unequivocally clear that we must come together. We must put the hat on that represents our institution as a whole and not our individual interests — despite any lingering individual differences in opinion. We must rise above our differences, our silos, our hostility, our personal agendas, our distrust and the vitriol of recent months and move forward. We must stop personal attacks and character assassinations. We must embrace and implement a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. We must come together for the good of our students and the legacy and future of Kentucky State University.”

A spokesperson for the board of regents added that “we respect the role of academic freedom and the shared governance model in higher education. Shared governance requires that just as the voices of KSU express concern or disagreement about University policy, strategic direction, and/or fiscal management, that same collective body must work to improve and repair things for the better. We are ready to work together to bring forth a season of healing.”

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