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Ryan Quarles among finalists to lead Kentucky's community and technical colleges

Commissioner Ryan Quarles | Facebook

Outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is a finalist to lead the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

The other finalists are Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, President of Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan, and Dr. Dean McCurdy, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana.

Quarles finished in second place in this year’s Republican primary for governor and was considered as a running mate for GOP nominee Daniel Cameron. Following the race, Quarles said he intended to stay in the public sector, but during an appearance in Bowling Green this summer, he was coy about whether he had applied for the KCTCS presidency.

“As the son of an educator and someone who has spent time teaching in the classroom and has done academic research, I think we need a strong leader to help improve educational outcomes in Kentucky," Quarles told WKU Public Radio.

Quarles is finishing his second term as agriculture commissioner and previously served as a state representative. Before that, he worked as an attorney and holds a doctorate in education.

The KCTCS president oversees Kentucky’s 16 community and technical college campuses. Dr. Larry Ferguson has served as interim leader since the resignation of Dr. Paul Czarapata in February.

The new KCTCS president is expected to be named by the end of the month and be on the job by Jan. 1. 2024.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.