Gov. Andy Beshear has appointed Dr. James Cousins, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Kentucky Wesleyan College, as a member of the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). He replaces Timothy Wooster, who resigned, and will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term ending June 30, 2025.
Dr. Cousins has served at KWC since July 2021 after serving in various roles at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, most recently as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2015-2021. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky (Concentration in the History of Education), an M.A. from the University of Kentucky (History) and a B.A. from The Ohio State University (Communications).
Mason Dyer, president of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU), said, “We are delighted that Gov. Beshear has appointed Dr. Cousins to represent Kentucky’s independent colleges on the EPSB. AIKCU members like Kentucky Wesleyan College have always played a key role in preparing Kentucky educators, with 17 of 18 AIKCU member institutions currently offering teacher preparation programs. As Kentucky strives to meet its evolving teacher workforce needs, it’s critical for AIKCU to have a knowledgeable and thoughtful leader like Dr. Cousins representing the independent college sector at the state level.”
“This is a tremendous honor, and I am grateful for the support and confidence of both President Dyer and Gov. Beshear,” said Dr. Cousins. “The board is best known for its role in certifying teacher education programs, but it also renews individual licenses for Kentucky teachers, hears cases of educator misconduct and makes policy recommendations to the state legislature. It is important work at a challenging time. Kentucky, like most states, has seen a gradual decline in the number of certified teachers and an uptick in unfilled vacancies. Many states have responded by loosening or lowering standards. These are short-term solutions that only intensify long-term problems. The job of the EPSB is, above all, to maintain rigorous standards, but there are opportunities to open the funnel and build a stronger pipeline of potential educators. I look forward to joining those conversations.”