Kentucky Wesleyan College has named James Cousins, Ph.D., as its vice president of academic affairs and dean of the College, President Thomas Mitzel announced Thursday. Dr. Cousins will officially begin his duties on July 1, 2021.
Dr. Cousins brings over 16 years of higher education experience to KWC. He currently serves as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University, overseeing student success, faculty engagement, assessment and curriculum development. Prior to this role, Dr. Cousins was a faculty member and director of undergraduate studies in Western Michigan University’s Department of History. At Western, Cousins has been instrumental in the creation of new academic programs, general education reforms, extra-institutional partnerships and a number of initiatives designed to increase student engagement and success.
“We are ecstatic that Dr. Cousins is joining our Panther family,” said President Mitzel. “James brings a strong background and diverse portfolio to this position. His insight and leadership will help Kentucky Wesleyan College continue to build upon its rich academic reputation while making necessary changes to ensure the College remains a global leader in education.”
Cousins has been recognized for numerous career accomplishments, highlighted by being named an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2019-20 academic year, 2015 Western Michigan University Center for the Humanities fellow and 2012 scholar in residence at Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.). He is the author of over 20 essays, reviews and peer-reviewed articles and is co-author of “Collaboration and the Future of History Education: Preserving the Right to Think and Teach Historically” (Routledge, 2016). His second book, “Horace Holley: Transylvania University and the Making of Liberal Education in the Early American Republic” (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), explores the transformation of higher education in early America.
“This is an exciting time at Kentucky Wesleyan,” Cousins noted. “There is a tremendous energy and a great sense of optimism around campus. Wesleyan’s faculty, staff and students are all joined in the pursuit of academic excellence and post-graduate success. I was particularly impressed by how well Wesleyan’s programs link campus resources with off-campus experiences. I’ve admired Wesleyan’s history for many years, and I am thrilled to be part of its future.”
After beginning his career as a teacher of History and Latin at Millersburg Military Institute in Millersburg, Ky., Dr. Cousins entered higher education as an academic advisor at the University of Kentucky and later held teaching appointments at Kentucky State University, Berea College and Eastern Kentucky University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, an M.A. in history from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in higher education, with a concentration in the history of education, from UK.
Kentucky Wesleyan College is a United Methodist-related four-year institution in Owensboro, Ky., which fosters a liberal arts education that nourishes and prepares students intellectually, spiritually and physically to achieve success in life.