Ken D. Coopwood, Sr., Ph.D., CDE, LSSBB Bio
Board Member

Dr. Coopwood is a native of Gary, Indiana, where he was a standout scholar and athlete at Calumet High School. He was selected for a national engineering workshop at Purdue University in eighth grade and later earned college credits while in high school as a participant in Purdue Upward Bound.  He earned a full football scholarship at Indiana State University where he completed a BS degree in Business Administration. He later earned a Masters degree in Public Administration and in May 2000, became the first Ph.D. in his family by earning a doctorate in educational leadership, administration and foundations.

By applying the principles of servant leadership early in his career, Dr. Coopwood has excelled rapidly in the fields of higher education, diversity training and leadership/youth identity development. Since his start in 1989, he has served in many roles including Director for Diversity & Equity and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. He has served at four universities where he was responsible for senior level administration of resources and programs that enhanced academic and social experiences for students, staff, faculty, and the community. Along the way, he directed academic, social, judicial, sports, marketing, cultural, and several student programs.

A diversity educator and trainer since 1992, Dr. Coopwood has conducted numerous presentations for the benefit of adult and youth identity development. He is certified as a diversity executive, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and is a certified consultant on HBDI, Adaptation - Innovation theory and Creative Problem Solving.  Dr. Coopwood has also conducted research using intercultural sensitivity constructs. He is Founder of Coopwood Progressive Workshops & Developments (CPWD) and has authored three books on youth diversity issues during adolescence. His fusion of esteem and education has been noted around the country but primarily in the Mid-West. He is now the first African-American Vice President at Missouri State University where he is responsible for campus-wide multicultural, disability, outreach, and compliance services.

Dr. Coopwood believes that diversity management is a prerequisite for effective change and that knowledge of people (cultural, psychological, and spiritual) is often absent when structural change is being implemented. He asserts that people are often more interested in the perceptions of others as opposed to what others perceive about themselves. His philosophy is expressed by his quote:

"In a nation where speculations of money, health, poverty and policy rank supreme in the conscience of the public mind, the most tragic and destructive display of human judgment is still that which conceals the absolute truth of a people."