Dean Kappeler Retires

Photo of Vic Kappeler

Dr. Victor Kappeler, Dean of the College of Justice & Safety at Eastern Kentucky University, is retiring after a long and successful career.  He has spent the vast majority of his career educating future leaders and working with law enforcement to improve police policies and procedures and to enhance relationships between police and the community.

Dr. Kappeler will retire from the same place he began his education: Eastern Kentucky University.  He initially earned an Associate Degree in Juvenile Justice then a Bachelor of Science Degree in Police Administration from EKU.  After working as a police officer for the University of Kentucky’s Department of Public Safety, he pursued as Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice, graduating with his third degree from EKU in 1985.  He immediately began a doctoral program and graduated with his Ph.D. from Sam Houston State University in 1988.  His first teaching appointment was at Central Missouri State University, where he taught as an assistant professor in Criminal Justice Administration and an Associate Professor of Police Studies.  In 1992, he returned to EKU as an Associate Professor. 

During his tenure as faculty at EKU, Dr. Kappeler served in many capacities, including Department Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Dean and Dean.   He has participated in virtually every aspect of the College’s operations, from teaching and curriculum development to personnel and budgeting. He has been involved in the support and supervision of faculty and staff, the development and oversight of the Student Advising Center, the Kentucky Center for School Safety, three academic departments and two academic schools of the College and worked closely with the grant and contract units.

Dr. Kappeler is the author or co-author of six books, including “Community Policing: A Contemporary Perspective,” “Policing in America,” “Homeland Security,” “Critical Issues in Police Civil Liability,” “The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice,” and “Forces of Deviance: Understanding the Dark Side of Policing.” He has also served as editor or co-editor of four other books and has written numerous book chapters, journal articles and other works.  Dr. Kappeler is also the recipient of multiple awards and honors.  In 2007, he was named an EKU Foundation Professor, the University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.  In 2011, he was awarded Eastern Kentucky University’s Excellence in Scholarship from the College of Justice & Safety.  Dr. Kappeler received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Critical Criminology for his “sustained and distinguished scholarship, teaching and service in the field of critical criminology” in 2012. The following year he was awarded the 2013 Distinguished Service Medal from the Lexington Division of Police and named a Top Professor for Lifetime Achievement by Affordable Colleges.  In 2014, Dr. Kappeler was invited by the White House to participate in a policy review listening session and discuss federal programs and policies related to equipping state and local law enforcement agencies. He is frequently sought by media nationwide for his expertise on issues related to policing and criminal justice.

When Dr. Kappeler was selected as Dean of the College of Justice & Safety, then EKU Provost Dr. Janna Vice called Kappeler “a visionary and collaborative leader (who) will be both an advocate and an ambassador for Justice & Safety.”  We feel that her words could not be more true.

We wish Dr. Kappeler the best is his retirement!

Published on July 09, 2020