HBCU President Who Forced a Student to Drop Out Over 63 Cents Is Retiring

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Controversial Kentucy State University President Mary Evans Sias is retiring as of june 2014.

Mary Evans Sias

Reported by Yolanda Spivey

After serving 10 years as president of Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY, Mary Evans Sias announced that she will retire on June 30th.

In a statement released by the university, Sias stated, “The last 10 years at Kentucky State have been truly the most rewarding of my 36-year career in higher education.

“While there is always more that could be done, now seems like the right time to step aside and let the next person provide the momentum to continue to move the needle forward for KSU.”

Karen Bearden, chairwoman of the KSU Board of Regents, said in a statement that the board will have an interim president in place by July 1. The statement also said the board will “move quickly” to select a search firm and develop a presidential search process to conduct a national search.

Over the past year, Kentucky State University was met with a barrage of controversies that left the university at the mercy of public scrutiny.  In October 2013, students protested the firing of long term staff member Leslie K. Thomas after she spoke out against some of the chaotic conditions that plagued the school.

In a statement to Your Black World, Thomas stated, “My number one priority is and has always been what’s best for my students at Kentucky State University. I would not revel in the announcement of Dr. Sias’ departure from KSU, but believe the Board of Regents made a very wise decision to accept her resignation.”

Thomas continued, “It is time for new leadership to come on board and return our University to the level of excellence we (students, faculty, staff and alumni) have experienced since she opened her doors in 1886. KSU has had many challenges under this administration, but I am confident that the changes being made will take us Onward and Upward while continuing to produce the BEST students! Go Thorobreds!”

Over the years, KSU’s enrollment decline resulted in a $4.8 million loss of revenue during the 2012 year.  The loss in enrollment led Sias to take drastic measures in 2013.  Your Black World reported on the newly introduced “Thorobred Plan” that was implemented in late November 2013, which forcefully required that students pay off any balances they owed the school before the start of the 2014 spring semester.  As a result of this plan, 925 students were dropped due to outstanding balances—with some balances allegedly as low as .63 cents.

Sias made no further comment in regards to her impending retirement.

Kentucky State University is the state of Kentucky’s only historically Black university.  It was ranked 25th among historically Black universities in the United States according to the U.S. News and World Report.

Sias served as the university’s 13th president and was the only female president among the state’s public universities.

Yolanda Spivey writes on a variety of topics and is the founder of Black Insurance News. She can be reached at or you can visit her Facebook page.