KSU-President-Sias2-238x300Mary Evans Sias took office on April 28, 2004, is the 13th president of Kentucky State University, the only historically black college in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the state’s 1890 land grant research university.

KSU, one of eight public universities in Kentucky, recently was ranked again by The Princeton Review as one of the best colleges in the Southeast for the past five years.  The University was also recognized by U.S. News & World Reports as one of the top-tier HBCUs in the country.  The University also was named in 2013 to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service for the fifth consecutive year.  The Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in communities.  Kentucky State University’s Program of Distinction, Aquaculture, is consistently ranked one of the top-five programs in the country.  Its research farm is ranked among the top-20 organic farms in the country.

Recognizing the challenges students face, KSU, the most diverse of the Commonwealth’s institutions of higher education, is devising a new model to help more students attain their high educational goals.  This new model involves strategies that include creating an exciting environment for learning and also:

  •  Promoting critical thinking and writing skills
  • Encouraging acceptance of diversity – both people and ideas
  • Linking the graduate school disciplines and professions
  • Enriching the intellectual life of undergraduate students
  • Featuring the role of the sciences
  • Promoting improved faculty-student interactions

Dr. Sias brings to Kentucky State University a wide-range of administrative experience as well as valuable state and national perspectives on higher education issues and policies.  She is the immediate past chair of the board of directors for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which represents more than 425 colleges and universities in the country and more than four (4) million students.  She also recently served as the president of the Board of Directors for the American Association of College Teacher Education.  Additionally, she chaired the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association until February 2013, helping to move the organization to financial stability and to establishing an East-West Divide in both basketball and football.

Currently, Dr. Sias serves as chair of the Educational Testing Service’s HBCU Advisory Board; is a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 1890 Task Force, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture; and serves on the Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence, the steering committee for AASCU’s Millennium Leadership Institute.

Sias was recently appointed to the KentuckyOne Health Board, and is an active member of the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, the Frankfort Woman’s Club, and the Frankfort-Lexington Chapter of Links, Incorporated.  She is also a member of the International Federation of Women and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Before coming to Kentucky State University, Sias was the associate provost and senior vice president for student affairs and external relations at the University of Texas at Dallas from 1994 to 2004.  While at UT-Dallas, she was assistant professor of sociology.  She was also the chief executive officer of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas for 13 years before joining the UTD administration.  At that time the Dallas YWCA was the third largest in the country.  She served simultaneously for art of that time as a national consultant to the YWCA in fund development, strategic planning, and board-staff relations.  She also taught at the YWCA’s national training center in Arizona.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Dr. Sias holds a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Tougaloo College as well as a Master of Science degree and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Abilene Christian College.

She has received numerous community honors and recognitions, including Dallas, Texas’ 2013 African-American Museum’s Education Award and the Thurgood Marshall Award.  She received an honorary degree in public service from Central Michigan University in 2012.  Two of her most cherished awards are the She Knows Where She Is Going Award from the Girls Club and the Women Helping Women Award from the Women’s Center of Dallas.

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