President's Office

ryan quarles

President Ryan Quarles

Dr. Ryan Quarles is the fourth president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the first native Kentuckian to lead the system of 16 community and technical colleges and 70 campuses. He was named president by the KCTCS Board of Regents Sept. 29, 2023, following a national search. Quarles began his position Jan. 1, 2024.

Quarles comes to KCTCS with a long history in statewide public service. He was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2010 where he served until his election as Kentucky’s state commissioner of agriculture in 2016. In that role, he led the state’s second largest executive branch agency through 2023, serving two terms. On a national front, he was president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture in 2020-2021.

His earlier work experience includes serving as associate general counsel at Georgetown College and working in private practice.

While a college student at the University of Kentucky, Quarles was appointed by former Governor Ernie Fletcher as the student representative to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, the state’s higher education coordinating agency. The three-year stint ignited his interest to seek advanced degrees in higher education.

Quarles holds seven college degrees: a doctorate in higher education administration from Vanderbilt University; a master’s degree in higher education from Harvard University; and a juris doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law. He earned his four other degrees, including two master’s degrees, from the University of Kentucky.

Quarles is a graduate of Scott County High School in Georgetown, Ky., and attended Lexington Community College, the forerunner of Bluegrass Community and Technical College. He is also a ninth-generation Kentucky farmer at Quarles Farms in Scott County.

President Quarles’ full resume

KCTCS Quartley Reports:

Featured media interviews:

After more than a decade in elected office, Quarles looks to future in higher ed

‘I feel really blessed’: Ryan Quarles prepares for new role as KCTCS president

Ryan Quarles as KCTCS president

Ryan Quarles named new KCTCS president after nationwide search