The only female vice president at CSU, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Linda Kuk finds herself in a situation she might describe as “familiar.”
Her third vice president position at the university level and her fourth senior level position, Kuk related in an interview with the Collegian that being the only female vice president “is not new, it’s almost always been the case.” In all of her administrative experiences except for one, Kuk has been the only female vice president.
Kuk spent eight and nine years, respectively, as vice president for Student Affairs at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., and the State University of New York at Cortland. In her 23rd year of vice presidential experience, she’s back at her alma mater, where she received a bachelor’s degree with distinction in social work in 1972.
“I think having women in leadership roles helps balance the administration in different ways,” Kuk said. “Women have a different sense of what it means to collaborate.”
“It is important to recognize the value of having many differences in your circles; women, people of color, people of international origin all add a dimension of perspective,” she said. “Whenever you have a group that looks and thinks like you do, you miss out on the broad perspective that I think allows you to achieve excellence.”
Out of her many contributions to the CSU community, Kuk is most proud of current efforts to establish the Day I through Day IV programs (alcohol and drug abuse education programs) and expand the residential college system, which includes the new academic village currently under construction near Edwards Hall.
The remodeling of Hartshorn Health Center and the addition to the Student Recreation Center, both due for completion in the next five years, are also points of pride for Kuk.
“My first priority as vice president is getting students the resources they need,” she said.
Outside of her administrative duties, Kuk also serves as an associate professor for CSU’s Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) graduate program.
“Most people who work as administrators in Student Affairs at other schools are not teachers too,” said Emily Gaspar, a graduate of CSU’s SAHE program and a former student of Kuk’s. “CSU and Dr. Kuk are unique in that regard; most other graduate programs in Student Affairs don’t have access to vice presidents and their real-life experiences as administrators.”
As an alumna, Kuk feels a strong responsibility of service to the campus community.
“I want someone to see an alumni of Colorado State and say, ‘Wow, they went to CSU.'”
It’s important to me that students get the opportunities at CSU they need to excel and develop an edge for the real world,” Kuk said.
The Office of the President of Colorado State University’s Web site contributed to this profile.
Drew Haugen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org