Bowling Green, Ky. – Brian Kuster, Executive Director of the Student Life Foundation at WKU, has been appointed WKU’s Vice President for Student Affairs for the next two years.
Kuster will begin his new role Jan. 1, following the retirement of Howard Bailey. Kuster will defer his anticipated retirement and serve as Vice President until Dec. 31, 2017.
“I have been impressed with what Brian has achieved in the transformation of our residence life program,” WKU President Gary A. Ransdell said. “He has led the first phase of the physical transformation of our residence halls, the professionalization of our residence life staff, and he has brought relevancy and depth to our student life programming. Brian has outstanding financial and management skills. I have found him to be thoughtful, approachable and even-tempered.”
Dr. Ransdell added that he has “great confidence in Brian and I value his judgment and leadership to keep me and the campus informed, to keep our campus safe, to ensure that our students’ needs are met in their day-to-day activities and stresses, to ensure that they are engaged in the life our University, and that student life on our four campuses is central to the WKU learning process for our students.”
Kuster will continue to serve as SLF Executive Director. He will begin searches for a Director of Residence Life, a position he will vacate, and appoint a Dean of Students from the current Student Affairs leadership.
In announcing the appointment, Dr. Ransdell also took time to honor Bailey for his 45 years of service to WKU.
“His is a remarkable professional story of commitment, dedication and loyalty during some of the most tumultuous periods of student life in American higher education,” Dr. Ransdell said. “No one on our campus knows better than Howard Bailey the needs of our students and the challenges they face, and how those needs and challenges have evolved over the years—especially in recent years.”
Kuster said he is looking forward to the challenge of leading the Student Affairs division.
“I am honored to be following in Howard’s footsteps, although he does leave some pretty big shoes to fill,” Kuster said. “We have an engaged student body and a committed and dedicated staff and I expect a smooth transition as we continue to provide programming to allow students to make the most of the their WKU experience.”
Kuster is a WKU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in student personnel services. He joined the staff at WKU in 1985 as a residence hall director and has been Acting Director of Residence Life, Coordinator of Residential Judicial Affairs, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Director of Residence Life. He was named Director of Housing and Residence Life in 1998 and SLF Executive Director in 1999.
The Division of Student Affairs includes Housing and Residence Life, Career Services, Counseling and Testing, Judicial Affairs, Student Activities, Intramural and Recreational Sports and the WKU Police.