The Franklin College Board of Trustees has voted to extend the contract of Kerry N. Prather through at least June 30, 2026, citing his remarkable leadership in moving the college forward, enhancing the student experience and furthering the college mission.
“The Franklin College community will continue to benefit from President Prather’s leadership and willingness to implement bold changes in an ever evolving and quickly changing higher education environment,” said Peter T. Cangany, Jr., chair of the Franklin College Board of Trustees and 1980 alumnus of the college. “The Board of Trustees is looking forward to continual engagement with President Prather in the many strategic discussions that will chart the future of Franklin College. Something special is happening at Franklin College.”
Prather was appointed as acting president in January 2020 and president one month later, with his term slated to end in June 2022. In March 2021, the Franklin College Board of Trustees announced Prather would continue to lead the institution as president until at least July 1, 2024.
Prather said, “I am humbled by the confidence of the Board of Trustees and excited to continue the momentum we have begun at Franklin College over the past three years. We will be announcing a new strategic plan over the coming weeks that will provide a bold, ambitious vision for the institution’s future. Cindy and I look forward to continuing our work with our colleagues on campus and our alumni, friends and corporate partners to further enhance the distinctive student experience at Franklin and position the institution for an even more successful and prosperous future.”
During his tenure as the college’s 17th president, Prather has led the way in establishing the college’s digital fluency program and Center for Tech Innovation and the Johnson Memorial Health Athletic Annex; launched a competitive esports program on campus; and created a digital fluency initiative that serves as the capstone to the already transformative education Franklin provides. His leadership has earned the confidence of Lilly Endowment Inc., with the college being awarded a $1 million grant in 2020 to help strengthen technology integration and expand learning opportunities. He also led the college to its most successful fundraising year ever in 2020 and welcomed the largest incoming class in five years, all in the midst of a global pandemic. Prather has expanded the college’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, pledging to graduate leaders capable of and committed to making our communities, our states and our nation more fair, more just and more compassionate.
Over the duration of his 39-year Franklin College career, Prather has served as assistant dean of students, associate director of admissions, acting vice president for enrollment management and acting vice president for administration. Throughout his career he has served in Cabinet-level positions in four administrations.
During his 36-year tenure as head men’s basketball coach, Prather joined the elite group of collegiate coaches with over 500 career wins, and his teams made multiple appearances in national tournament competitions. He was named director of Athletics in 1989. Under his leadership, Franklin College expanded athletic opportunities for students to the current level of 21 intercollegiate sports and upgraded and built new athletic facilities throughout the campus.
He is a graduate of Indiana University with an undergraduate degree in English and a master’s degree in education. In 1999, he was named an associate alumnus of Franklin College in recognition of his longtime service and contributions.
Prather’s wife, Cindy taught elementary school for 14 years before a 24-year tenure on the faculty of the Franklin College Education Department. She was engaged in higher education consulting before returning to Franklin College, where she currently serves as director of Teacher Education. Cindy was named an associate alumna in 2022. The Prathers are parents of two Franklin College alumni, daughter Katie (Prather) Gillaspy ’13 and son Robbie ’17.