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Akakpo named new president for Kentucky State University

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(The Center Square) – A national search for Kentucky State University’s next president led to a nearby candidate getting the job.

Dr. Koffi C. Akakpo was named the Frankfort school’s 19th president earlier this week. He will officially start in that role July 1.

Akakpo currently serves as the president of Bluegrass Community and Technical College, which is based in Lexington and has campuses across Central Kentucky. In his four years overseeing the state’s largest public two-year institution, Akakpo has added programs while increasing enrollment and graduation rates.

The announcement said Akakpo’s contract would be finalized soon.

Leaders of the state’s public historically Black university pointed to Akakpo’s 16-year history in higher education and his experience in fiscal management and strategic planning as qualities that helped him become the leading candidate.

“Under Dr. Akakpo’s leadership, the university can advance in many areas, and we are pleased to hand the baton to him at such a critical time in the institution’s journey,” said KSU Board of Regents Chair Tammi Dukes. “We are confident he will bring the vision and execution required to help Kentucky State University continue to advance and succeed in its critical mission of enhancing society and impacting individuals by preparing future generations of engaged citizens and effective leaders.”

Kentucky State has faced scrutiny over the last two years after M. Christopher Brown resigned before the school’s Board of Regents called for an external audit of the university’s finances.

Separate reports by state Auditor Mike Harmon and the Council on Postsecondary Education, the latter of which was requested by Gov. Andy Beshear, found several incidents of mismanagement. Harmon’s audit identified more than $4 million in credit card transactions with little or no documentation explaining the purchases. The audit referred possible cases to Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office and federal authorities.

The CPE report called the school’s budget deficit unsustainable and its depletion of cash reserves significant. That led to the school receiving a $23 million emergency loan from the General Assembly last year.

Akakpo, who holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Toledo and an M.B.A. from Ashland University in Ohio, said he has a plan to brighten the school’s future.

“My work focuses on championing postsecondary institutions, tackling the uncertainty they face, and securing their current and future prosperity, particularly through bold thinking, transformational problem-solving, and strategic partnership building,” he said.

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