VERSAILLES, Ky. — The next president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System is Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, Ryan Quarles.

What You Need To Know

  • Ryan Quarles, Kentucky's current agriculture commissioner, named president of Kentucky Community and Technical College System

  • He was selected from 43 applicants in a nationwide search

  • He replaces Paul Czarapata who resigned in February

Following a national search, the committee chose Quarles to be KCTCS’ fourth president.

“Dr. Quarles’ proven statewide leadership, his relationships across Kentucky and in Washington, D.C., as well as his outstanding educational background in higher education administration, make him the clear choice to move our system forward,” said KCTCS Board of Regents Chair Barry Martin.

Quarles has spent the past 13 years in public service. He was elected agriculture commissioner in 2016, and sees the move to KCTCS as a continuation of his service. In a statement, he said, “I am both humbled and excited to further my public service toward the Commonwealth through KCTCS—our state’s most impactful higher education entity. For countless Kentuckians, our community and technical colleges change lives every day as we not only fulfil career dreams but also strengthen our state’s workforce needs. As a former community college student, I’m excited to get started.”

Forty-three people applied for the position. The KCTCS Presidential Committee and the firm, AGB Search, narrowed the field down to three. They were Quarles, Dr. Dean McCurdy, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, and Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, Ph.D., president, Mott Community College, Flint, Michigan.

Quarles replaces Paul Czarapata, who was KCTCS president for almost two years. He resigned in February.