Round of terminations followed former Kentucky State University president’s resignation

Published 7:06 am Friday, July 30, 2021

The new administration at Kentucky State University carried out a wave of terminations in the wake of former President M. Christopher Brown II’s resignation.

Brown departed amid concerns raised by regents and just before Gov. Andy Beshear authorized a Council on Postsecondary Education-led review of the school on Tuesday, July 20. Acting President Clara Ross Stamps was appointed to replace Brown on the same day.

Two days later, six employees were fired without any reason stated in their termination letters from Human Resources Director Candace Raglin, according to a State Journal open records request for terminations carried out the same week that Brown resigned. Two more were terminated from their roles last Friday.

The Thursday terminations included the previously reported departure of former Chief of Staff Tymon Graham, former executive director of University College Walter Malone III, former Assistant Director of Player Development Twany Beckham, former coordinator of Greek life and head cheerleading coach Timothy Queen, former executive administrative assistant Terrius Gaines and former graduate admissions and records analyst Shy Heath Jr.

The next day, two employees were terminated via the same emailed letter, which references KSU’s status as an at-will employer. Those two employees are Brielle Jones, a graduate research assistant, and recently hired career navigator Rachel Coulter-Gause.
As of April, per a document obtained by The State Journal, Malone was making nearly $100,000 in his role as head of the University College. The University College is responsible for new student orientation, KSU’s pre-college academy, undergraduate advising and more.

Beckham’s salary was $75,000 in April, though his position had recently changed from director of campus wellness to assistant director of player development. Beckham, a former basketball player at the University of Kentucky and member of the 2012 national championship team, is also an author and agent. He held a previous wellness position in state government.
Queen was making $52,000 in April as coordinator of Greek life and head cheerleading coach.

Gaines and Heath were making $51,000 and $45,000, respectively, as of April.

Jones was making over $20,000 in her role; The State Journal does not have documentation of Coulter-Gause’s salary, as she was hired this month, according to her LinkedIn page.

The State Journal has attempted to reach out to every terminated person with the exception of Jones, who could not be reached by press time. No former employee except Graham has commented.

Stamps has said that she believes it is inappropriate to comment on personnel matters at this time. She also declined a request for an interview this week.

Three other KSU employees submitted their resignations, but were not terminated, that week.