KCTCS board picks current chancellor as preferred candidate to replace retiring president

Jay Box is credited with improving transfer rates from KCTCS schools to four-year colleges.
Jay Box is credited with improving transfer rates from KCTCS schools to four-year colleges.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents did a national search for a new president, but found their only finalist close to home: Current KCTCS Chancellor Jay Box.

KCTCS Board of Regents Chairman P.G. Peeples announced Wednesday that Box is the board's only preferred candidate to replace President Michael McCall, who will step down in January.

"After an extensive national search we are pleased to have identified a candidate who matches the presidential profile developed in collaboration with our search consultant, search committee, board, faculty, staff and student representatives," Peeples said in a statement. "Dr. Box has played a key role in shaping the learning opportunities KCTCS provides and he has demonstrated strong leadership and dedication to our students, faculty and staff."

Peeples cited Box's work on improving transfer rates between KCTCS and four-year colleges and universities, as well as improving the dual credit program that allows high school students to earn college credit at KCTCS schools.

A Texas native, Box came to Kentucky in 2002 to be president of Hazard Community and Technical College. He worked there until 2007, when he was named a KCTCS vice president for administrative systems.

Box currently makes $250,155 a year.

McCall makes about $328,325 a year in base pay, plus numerous bonuses, and receives a $90,000 a year housing allowance and $43,000 a year for a car. Before he announced his retirement, the KCTCS board agreed to pay McCall a year's salary as president emeritus after he leaves the system. He has been the highest paid community college system president in the country.

The board will hold a forum on Nov. 18 at KCTCS' headquarters in Versailles for presidents, faculty, staff and students to talk to Box, who has been chancellor since 2009. The full board will meet on Nov. 19 to vote on Box's appointment.