|FOREST OF THE RAIN PRODUCTIONS An Educational Affairs Organization||
Dr. M. Christopher Brown, II
Dr. Brown has a Ph.D. in Higher Education from The Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in Education from the University of Kentucky, and a B.S. in Elementary Education from South Carolina State University. Dr. Brown is currently the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Southern University and A&M System.
Prior to accepting the KSU presidency, Dr. Brown served as President and Institutional Executive Officer at Alcorn State University. He has served in other executive and academic roles at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Alcorn State University, Fisk University, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, and the United Negro College Fund.
“The Board of Regents agreed that Dr. Brown has the experience, credentials, and vision to build upon our strong foundation and lead Kentucky State University and our students to even greater achievement and academic excellence,” said Dr. Bearden. “His selection comes at the conclusion of a spirited national search that included input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community supporters. Dr. Brown is the right leader to bring all of these groups together and set KSU on a path toward continued greatness.”
“Dr. Brown’s extensive work at those institutions, combined with his ideas for growing Kentucky State University’s academic capacity and student enrollment, make him an excellent choice to lead us into the future,” said Board of Regents Vice Chair Ekumene Lysonge.
Dr. Brown replaces Dr. Aaron Thompson, who has served as KSU’s interim president since May 2016.
“I am profoundly honored to be named president of Kentucky State University, a revered and important higher education institution that has blazed trails in academia, equality, and higher learning since its founding in 1886,” said Dr. Brown. “KSU has a dedicated faculty, staff, and student body, and I know that we will forge deep, respectful relationships that will fuel great partnerships to benefit and promote this esteemed institution.”
Kentucky State University will host meetings and receptions with faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, civic and business leaders, and lawmakers to introduce Dr. Brown to stakeholders within the KSU community.
“This support and input is vital to KSU’s successful transition but it won’t be a one-time situation,” said Dr. Brown. “I believe an ongoing inclusive, collaborative approach fosters a healthy and robust atmosphere where the positive exchange of ideas reaps real results.”
Etienne M. Thomas
Prior to Thomas's arrival to Frankfort she served Kansas Athletics as the Associate Athletics Director of Student Life beginning in July, 2017.
Thomas served as KU’s liaison with the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access (IOA) and oversaw Diversity, Gender Equity & Inclusion education and training for student-athletes, coaches and staff, as well as student conduct for KU Athletics. She was also the sports supervisor for rowing.
Prior to Kansas, Thomas worked at North Carolina Central University as the Associate Athletics Director for Internal Operations/Senior Woman Administrator, beginning in July of 2008, before being promoted to Senior Associate Athletics Director for Internal Operations/Senior Woman Administrator in the fall of 2016.
Thomas helped implement a number of changes in her time at NCCU, including helping the department get reclassified from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I FCS, as well as transitioning the school from an independent institution to becoming a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. She also helped NCCU’s transition from CLC to Learfield/LRG licensing.
NCCU was also an institutional recipient of the NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program grant while Thomas was a member of the staff.
Before her time at NCCU, Thomas served as the Director of Compliance at San Jose State University. She added the duties of associate athletics director in July 2006. As a sports supervisor in the Spartans' 16-sports program, she oversaw men's and women's soccer and softball.
Thomas' background is rooted in compliance. She has worked at Howard University (2002-03) in Washington, D.C., Saint Paul's College (2001-02) in Lawrenceville, Va., and at North Carolina Central University (2001-02). Her first position in athletics was as a compliance/general administration intern in the University of Iowa women's athletics department.
Thomas has a long list of career highlights that include being the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference representative on the NCAA Division I Council, where she was the only SWA originally appointed. She was also a member of the NCAA Governance Student-Athlete Experience Committee and a council liaison to the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The 1996 graduate of North Carolina Central University majored in political science. She has completed coursework for a J.D. degree from The University of Iowa College of Law.
In 2006, she completed the 18-month NCAA Fellows Program.
Thomas is a lifetime member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is a member of Minority Opportunities Athletics Association, Women Leaders in College Sports, National Association of Collegiate Directors of America and National Association of Athletics Compliance.
Thomas is married to Byron Thomas, is the mother of Jermaine and cousin to Sydney. She enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, network marketing and shopping for others.