As president, Gary coordinates AIKCU’s legislative, public policy, advocacy, fundraising, and cooperative activities. He is a highly visible advocate for independent higher education in Kentucky. Gary works closely with state and national public policymakers and higher education agencies to promote the interests of independent institutions and their students. He also makes fundraising appeals to corporate and foundation leaders on behalf of independent higher education and student scholarships.
Gary holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Morehead State University. He completed his master’s and Ph.D. in political science at the University of Kentucky.
Gary worked for the Kentucky Council on Higher Education (the forerunner to today’s Council on Postsecondary Education) from 1977-1997, serving as Executive Director from 1986-1997. In that role he helped set the stage for postsecondary reform in Kentucky and assisted in the drafting and passing of the historic 1997 House Bill 1. He then served as the Acting President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education before accepting the AIKCU presidency. During his long tenure with the Council he left for a few temporary assignments in other government areas and one as Dean of Kentucky State University’s School of Public Affairs.
Before transitioning to state government in the mid-70s was a professor of political science at Morehead State University. He remained in touch with his academic roots as an adjunct faculty member in KSU’s School of Public Affairs from 1974-1997.
Gary is active in numerous education, civic, and community organizations at the local, state and national levels. He currently serves on: the Education Commission of the States (ECS); the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA)/Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC) Boards of Directors; Kentucky Conference of Presidents (a statutory body composed of all public university presidents and the president of AIKCU); and the Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital Board, where he has been a member since 1992 and until recently served as Chair. Selected previous appointments include: the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; Chair of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program Board of Directors; National Postsecondary Education Collaborative Executive Committee; State Data Advisory Committee, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems; National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives (NAICUSE) Executive Committee; Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service; Southern Regional Education Board member; Leadership Kentucky Board of Directors; and Kentucky Board for Elementary and Secondary Education.
Gary lives in Lawrenceburg with his wife Linda.
Chief Operating Officer and VP for Business Services
Bob’s responsibilities at AIKCU include the management of daily operations and facilities as the Chief Operating Officer and the development of campus collaborative activities in the area of business services.
Bob joined AIKCU after a career in Kentucky state government, where he most recently served as the Public Service Commission’s first Director of Consumer Services. Prior to his fourteen year stint at the PSC, Bob spent fifteen years as the Energy Cabinet’s Director of Energy Conservation.
When not working for AIKCU’s members, is active in the Frankfort Rotary Club and in a number of local and national organizations. He is frequently called upon by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioner’s Consumer Affairs Committee to lead training sessions for state consumer affairs representatives across the country.
Bob and his wife Gayla, a retired elementary teacher, live in Frankfort. They are both western Kentucky natives who graduated from Murray State University. They have two married sons who are both products of independent higher education.
VP for External Relations and Information
Mason coordinates AIKCU’s public relations, marketing, and communications efforts and works with President Cox in the area of government relations. He also manages the data and research needs of the Association. He coordinates the collaborative activities of the member groups for public relations officers, admissions officers, institutional researchers, financial aid directors, deans of students, and campus safety directors. Mason also represents AIKCU on a variety of external postsecondary-related committees and boards, including the Kentucky Campus Compact Advisory Council; the Council on Postsecondary Education’s Distance Learning Steering Team; and the Kentucky Public Relations Officers (PROS) group.
Mason holds a bachelor’s degree from Centre College, where he double-majored in English and history. He served in AmeriCorps after college before studying English at the graduate level at the University of Kentucky, where he also taught first year composition.
Prior to joining AIKCU in February, 2005, Mason worked for Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass in Lexington. He lives in Lexington with his wife, an elementary school teacher, and their three children.
VP for Member Services
Krista plays an integral part in all aspects of business operations at AIKCU. She takes a leadership role in many programmatic functions and coordinates AIKCU’s scholarship programs.
Krista came to AIKCU after most recently serving as executive director of a non-profit agency serving children with special needs. She was previously a community development consultant serving rural, impoverished areas of the state engaging stakeholders and advocating for communities and families at risk. Krista’s diverse career has provided her opportunities to addresss and improve disparate outcomes across the state.
Krista holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Kentucky State University.
Steve’s primary responsibility as AIKCU’s part-time Technology Coordinator is to provide leadership and help develop campus collaborative agreements in the area of information technology products and services. Steve meets regularly with AIKCU campus information technology staff to help the campuses identify collaborative opportunities and facilitate cooperative activities. Steve also serves on a limited basis as a consultant resource to campuses.
Prior to his retirement from state government in May, 2004, Steve served as the Deputy Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Reporting to the state CIO, Steve’s responsibilities included the development and implementation of enterprise IT strategies, policies, standards, and architecture. Steve also had oversight responsibility for much of the day-to-day operations of the Governor’s Office for Technology shared service operations which included computer, network, email, consulting and application development, and training services. Prior to this position, Steve served for 15 years as the Commissioner of the Department for Information Services where he had responsibility for the planning, development, and operation of government information systems within the executive branch of state government. This included management responsibility for the state’s application development services, the Commonwealth Data Center and the Commonwealth’s telecommunication services.
During Steve’s career he played a major role in redesigning state business and IT processes to improve operational effectiveness and customer services; in developing the state’s e-government direction and in establishing the ky.gov portal for online government services; in the establishment of enterprise shared services for messaging, production support, data center, and network services; and in the planning, development, and implementation of the Kentucky Information Highway (KIH).
Steve has a B.S. in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech University and a Masters in Decision Science from Georgia State University.
Coordinator of Intern Programs
Richard Wilson, a journalist for nearly 40 years, is a former Courier-Journal reporter and bureau chief. Since his mid-1999 retirement from the Louisville newspaper, he has been coordinator of Intern Programs for AIKCU. In this post he has planned and coordinated state government-related internship programs in Frankfort for private college students.
During the 2002-2003 academic Wilson took leave from his AIKCU post to become interim director of the University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism and Telecommunications. During that time he led the school in its successful bid for re-accreditation by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
Wilson is a 1966 University of Kentucky graduate. He specialized in the coverage of higher education during most of his 32 years with the Courier-Journal but also covered state government, the General Assembly and general news. Wilson was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame upon his retirement.