(AMHERST, Mass., April 9, 2018) – Hikaru “Karu” Kozuma has been named Chief Student Affairs Officer at Amherst College, it was announced by Biddy Martin, President of the College. Kozuma most recently has been Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania, since 2012.
Reporting to the President and serving as a member of her senior staff, Kozuma will draw on his experience in residential life and the broad area of student affairs to ensure student success and well-being while helping develop a stronger sense of community and engagement among students. He will build on the significant organizational gains of recent years in Amherst’s Office of Student Affairs (OSA). Kozuma will join the College on July 1, 2018. He succeeds Suzanne Coffey, who has served in the role for the past four years, has been at Amherst since 2006, and is retiring in June.
“I am delighted to welcome Karu to Amherst,” said Martin. “In Karu the search committee has found a person who is creative, experienced, thoughtful, nuanced in his approach to the work. He is known at Penn and among professional colleagues as an unusually good listener who cares deeply about education, intellectual life in a liberal arts setting, and the students who are its beneficiaries. I look forward to working with him.”
At Amherst, Kozuma will be responsible for developing programmatic innovations and leading institutional change. As the leader of OSA, he will advise and collaborate with colleagues across the College on matters that shape the student experience and campus culture, especially the Dean of the Faculty, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and the Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel. Under Kozuma’s direction will be Case Management, the Class Deans, Community Standards, Counseling, the Health Center, Health Education, Religious Life, Residential Life, and Student Activities. He will manage a staff of approximately 110.
“I am elated to join the Amherst College family!” said Kozuma. “I am honored and privileged to be given this opportunity, and I look forward to partnering with students, faculty, and staff to enhance the experiences for all who are part of the community.”
At Penn, Kozuma led aspects of undergraduate, graduate and professional student affairs, activities, and programming for the institution. As a member of the division’s senior staff, he also oversaw strategic planning, budgeting and management. Kozuma repositioned the Office of Student Affairs as the central student organizational advising office, created a new department for sexual and interpersonal violence prevention and education, expanded educational and prevention programs for addressing alcohol and other drug use, and increased the organization’s crisis and emergency response initiatives, among other accomplishments. Kozuma served as Executive Director of the Office of Student Affairs from 2010-13. (He concurrently held the Associate Vice Provost title for one year before assuming that position permanently.)
Kozuma spent eight years at Columbia University (2002-10) in positions of increasing responsibility in residential programs in the Office of Student Affairs, culminating with the directorship of Residential Programs. He began his career at Middlebury College, also his alma mater, in 1998 as a residential advisor.
Kozuma graduated from Middlebury in 1998, having majored in English with an American history minor. He received a Master of Education degree in higher education administration from Harvard University in 2002 and a Doctorate of Education degree in higher education from Penn in 2015.
The CSAO search committee, co-chaired by Catherine Epstein, Dean of the Faculty and Winkley Professor of History, and Norm Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, was assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.
Amherst College prepares students to use ideas to make a difference in the world. Since its 1821 founding in Western Massachusetts, Amherst has demonstrated steadfast confidence in the value of the liberal arts and the importance of critical thinking. Today, its financial aid program is among the most substantial in the nation, and its student body is among the most diverse. Small classes, an open curriculum and a singular focus on undergraduate education ensure that leading scholars engage daily with talented, curious students, equipping them for leadership in an increasingly global and complex world.