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Ryan Quarles named new KCTCS President after nationwide search


On Friday, September 27, current Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles was elected the fourth president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

The Kentucky native cites his mother as his inspiration for applying for the position.

“So, I was fortunate to have a mother who was a teacher, but also a faculty member, who inspired me to look towards education as the great equalizer in life,” said Quarles. “Meaning that if you work hard enough and apply yourself and study, you can become just about anything you want.”

Quarles holds seven college degrees: a doctorate in higher education administration from Vanderbilt University; a master’s degree in higher education from Harvard University; and a juris doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law. He earned his other four degrees, including two master’s degrees, from the University of Kentucky.

The incoming president replaces Paul Czarapata who resigned in February after holding the position for nearly two years.

Quarles said there are many things he anticipates as he comes into his new role.

“I look forward to working closely with our board of regents, our current community and technical college president, as well as our faculty and dedicated staff so that we can focus on our workforce development needs across Kentucky, but also make sure that KCTCS remains true to its core mission of providing affordable and accessible programs that will change Kentuckians lives,” said Quarles.

Quarles said he will be doing double-duty over the next three months.

“Both serving and completing the duties of my current office as Commissioner of Agriculture, but also beginning the transition into KCTCS,” said Quarles. “So, we have a lot of work ahead of us as I essentially move into the new role, but I’m just thrilled that I get to continue to serve Kentucky.”

The next Commissioner of Agriculture will be chosen in the November 7 general election. Voters will choose between Republican Jonathon Shell and Democrat Sierra Enlow.

More information about KCTCS can be found at kctcs.edu.