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Beth McCuskey

Vice Provost for Student Life

Dr. Beth McCuskey's photo

Beth McCuskey serves as Purdue’s Vice Provost for Student Life where she oversees a portfolio of places, programs and services that are intentionally linked to the academic enterprise to deliver a comprehensive residential learning experience.

McCuskey’s focus in Student Life features well-being, including developing and deploying the Steps to Leaps framework; leadership development, including establishing the Roger C. Stewart Leadership and Professional Development Department; arts and culture, including fundraising for Marc and Sharon Hagle Hall – the new home for Purdue Bands & Orchestras; supporting robust programming for parents and families; and building ties between alumni and students, such as the innovative Executive-in-Residence program to bring alumni into residence halls to foster the concept of Boilermakers for Life

Purdue Student Life is also home to one of the largest and most impactful housing and dining systems in the country.  McCuskey’s key initiatives in this area include building sustainable capacity to support recent enrollment growth and connecting living and dining on campus with students’ personal and intellectual development.

McCuskey began her career in student housing and dining at West Virginia University and held a variety of roles focused on financial and facility operations. From there, she joined the University of Wyoming as their housing director and later assumed responsibility for dining services and the Wyoming Union. At Wyoming, she also coordinated student learning assessments in the Division of Student Affairs, co-directing the Summit program, UW’s first-year student orientation program.

McCuskey joined Purdue in 2010 as the associate vice president for housing and food services, overseeing student-facing auxiliary units where she developed strategies to leverage these organizations to support student success more directly. Under her leadership, Purdue developed the capacity to build residential learning models that have evolved into many successful initiatives over the years, including the John Martinson Honors College and The Data Mine Learning Community. This focus on student learning, coined “academicizing,” was embedded in all aspects of the division, including student employment, video and event production and hotel operations. In 2014, Housing and Food Services was merged with the Student Affairs Division to expand this philosophy and McCuskey successfully obtained the new role of Vice Provost for Student Life.

McCuskey has a bachelor’s degree in economics, master’s degrees in both higher education and industrial and labor relations, and a doctorate in higher education—all from West Virginia University.  She has an academic appointment in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, serving as clinical professor in the Technology Leadership & Innovation Department. She served as both president and foundation board chair for the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I), has published several articles and book chapters and co-edited a book, “Foundations: Strategies for the Future of Collegiate Housing,” published by ACUHO-I.  She is currently co-editing The Handbook of Well-being in Higher Education to be published by Oxford University Press.

In Student Life, McCuskey is committed to the vision of helping students discover the transformative power of their Purdue home—a place where intellectual, social and developmental growth launches them into their future as Boilermakers for Life.

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