Thomas Layzell has served over 40 years in a variety of positions in public higher education and has been a system head since 1984, serving as Executive Director and Chancellor of the Illinois Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities from 1984 to 1995 and the Commissioner of Higher Education in Mississippi from 1995 to 2003, before coming to Kentucky as President of the Council.
Layzell retired as President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education on April 15, 2007. Under his leadership, more people than ever before enrolled in postsecondary and adult education and earning degrees, certificates and diplomas. In 2005, the Council announced a preliminary 19 percent increase in the number of degrees conferred by the public colleges and universities.
Earlier I nhis career, he worked at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois, from 1969 to 1976, advancing to the position of Vice President for Administration. He also served as a staff member at the Illinois Board of Higher Education from 1966 – 1969.
Layzell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and both a Juris Doctorate in law and a Master’s of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
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