Cowgill Resigns From Postsecondary Education Council

The president of the Council On Postsecondary Education is ending his term.

Brad Cowgill says he's stepping down, but the exact date is uncertain.

Cowgill's term on the board was marked by controversy. He was appointed to the Council's leadership role under criticism from Governor Steve Beshear. The Governor demanded the council start a new national search that would exclude Cowgill from consideration.

Tuesday afternoon, Governor Beshear issued a statement responding to the resignation.

“I appreciate Mr. Cowgill’s decision, which puts an end to a very difficult situation for everyone. I trust that the Council will now move forward with a nationwide search for a permanent president.”

Attorney General Jack Conway has said in a nonbinding opinion that
the council should have conducted a national search before picking Cowgill.

Cowgill was former Gov. Ernie Fletcher's budget director before
being appointed as the council's interim president in September.

Cowgill's emailed resignation began:
"Today I announce my resignation as president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. I do this for one reason: in the foreseeable future, it would be necessary to devote excessive time and effort to unproductive activities, denying me the satisfaction of fruitful work."

CPE Chair John Turner issued a statement about Cowgill's decision to step down.

"Brad Cowgill came on the job ready to work and willing to act. He is a person of great vision and his performance over these eight months has exceeded the Council’s high expectations. Brad’s willingness to work with a broad base of constituents across the postsecondary spectrum proved especially reassuring to me. "

The CPE has a special meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning to discuss Cowgill's position.

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