Ryan Quarles contract, salary as KCTCS president confirmed

Agriculture commissioner was appointed in September

By: - October 12, 2023 3:21 pm

Gubernatorial candidate Ryan Quarles waits to speak during the Lincoln Day Dinner on April 14 in Bowling Green. (Kentucky Lantern photo by Austin Anthony)

The new president of Kentucky’s largest provider of postsecondary education will earn $380,000 annually, according to his contract, which the Lantern received Thursday through an open records request.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is a former state lawmaker who ran, unsuccessfully, as a Republican candidate for governor this year. 

He was appointed president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, which has 16 colleges in the commonwealth, in September. 

The KCTCS contract says Quarles will start his three-and-a-half year term on January 1, 2024. It ends on June 30, 2027. Quarles will be “evaluated annually.” 

His first 11 months as president will be a probation period, the contract says, during which he can “be terminated from
employment with or without cause.”

In addition to his salary, the contract lists several benefits. They include a life insurance policy of double his salary and a $20,000 “automobile allowance.” The board will also pay all premiums for “basic life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance coverage.”

Quarles has seven college degrees, including a doctorate in higher education administration from Vanderbilt and a master’s degree in higher education from Harvard University. 

The contract

Signed Contract - Dr. Ryan Quarles


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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.