Yvonne Kennedy

Yvonne Kennedy has been state representative for the 97th district (Mobile) since 1982. She was formerly President of Bishop State Community College.

She was born on January 8, 1945, received her B.S. from Alabama State University, M.A. from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, Ph.D. from the University of Alabama, and Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee.

Kennedy was the National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and former Chairperson of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus.

See Bishop State Controversy

In 2007, Mobile's Bishop State Community College under President Yvonne Kennedy was scrutinized by the state's two-year college system, state auditors, the U.S. Department of Education, the FBI and the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office, which has charged 27 people with stealing more than $200,000 most of it financial aid. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accrediting organization subsequently placed Bishop State on probation. Three Bishop State employees and three people with family connections to those employees were charged stealing more than $75,000 in financial aid.

An inquiry into the school by Alabama’s two-year college system found violations of federal and state financial aid policies, with aid going to ineligible students and some recipients getting excess money. The inquiry also raised questions about academics at Bishop State, where some students were said to have received high grades and credit for little or no time on class work.

The Bishop State Community College Foundation, which has been criticized in multiple two-year system reports and investigated by law enforcement, was shut down.

A report on Bishop State by the two-year system said Kennedy operated the foundation under her “personal direction,” against system officials’ advice. The report also said the foundation maintained no accounting records, other than a checkbook, and was never audited.

The Mobile County District Attorney's office investigated how the foundation used a $94,000 legislative grant it received in 2003 from Kennedy.

Kennedy retired as President in 2007. She became “president emeritus,” a non-paid position. Two-year college chancellor Bradley Byrne said that Kennedy requested the title. She had also negotiated office space at Bishop State after retirement, but Byrne withdrew it after she failed to fire David Thomas. At retirement, Kennedy was to collect a lump sum of about $530,000 accumulated through the state’s deferred retirement option program and approximately $7,600 in monthly pension.

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