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Hikaru “Karu” Kozuma was announced as the University’s next vice provost for University Life today (Photo courtesy of Penn).

Hikaru “Karu” Kozuma will be Penn's next vice provost for University Life starting May 1, according to an announcement from Interim Provost Beth Winkelstein.

Kozuma, who is currently the executive director of College Houses and Academic Services, will succeed Mamta Accapadi, who resigned last June after two years in the role. Since then, the position has been occupied by Tamara Greenfield King, who was appointed as interim vice provost for University Life on June 14. 

The vice provost for University Life focuses on offering support to academic and career resources for students and works closely with cultural groups on campus. 

“Karu Kozuma is a highly experienced national leader in university life, who is well known across our Penn community for his empathy, wisdom, and collaborative skill," Winkelstein wrote in the announcement. “He is deeply committed to the engagement and wellbeing of our students, both graduate and undergraduate, as his own experience encompasses every size and aspect of student life, including his own experience as a graduate student at GSE.”

Kozuma will be in charge of a $45 million budget that oversees 16 departments and a total of 135 full-time employees, according to University Life. The new vice provost for University Life is also expected to continue and expand on the initiatives started by Accapadi and King, the latter of whom will stay at Penn as senior associate vice provost for student affairs.

Kozuma — a 2015 graduate of Penn's Graduate School of Education — has been executive director of College Houses and Academic Services since 2021 and previously served as associate vice provost for University Life and executive director of the Office of Student Affairs from 2010 to 2018. Kozuma also served as Amherst College's chief student affairs officer between 2018 and 2021. 

Before 2010, Kozuma was director of Residential Programs at Columbia University and worked for three years in residential life at Middlebury College.

The announcement concludes a six-month search that began in late August, when Interim Provost Beth Winkelstein announced the formation of an advisory committee for the selection of the next vice provost for University Life. The committee was made up of 14 Penn faculty and student government representatives. Applications and nominations for the position were accepted until Oct. 20 to Storbeck Search Diversified Search Group

The application for the position stated that the next vice provost for University Life would be a “collaborative and visible campus leader” that also had expertise in leading a complex organization and a capacity to engage with students. Additionally, it explained that the vice provost for University Life “must have a passion for Penn’s mission and a commitment to providing undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with an outstanding experience at Penn."

The announcement follows Magill’s appointment of John L. Jackson Jr., currently the dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, as Penn’s next provost on Jan. 25. The provost oversees a team of eight vice provosts, including the vice provost for University Life. 

"I, along with incoming Provost John Jackson, am deeply grateful to the consultative committee and to the members of our community who participated in the search process for this vital position — as well as to Tamara Greenfield King for her invaluable ongoing service as interim vice provost for University Life," Winkelstein wrote. "We are confident that Karu will be an outstanding partner to all of us in leading our university life initiatives in the years ahead.”