Kathleen J. Byrnes, JD, Vice President for the Division of Student Life at Villanova University


Kathleen J. Byrnes, JD, serves as Vice President for the Division of Student Life at Villanova, bringing to the position vast experience in all aspects of the student experience.

An alumna with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Honors and a master’s degree in Theology, Kathy also holds a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law.

Kathy returned to Villanova as an instructor in 1989 and joined the Student Life staff two years later. She co-founded Villanova’s learning communities and now oversees numerous departments within Student Life.

Kathy’s contributions to the University extend well beyond the area of student life. She has been a member of numerous University-wide committees, including the Parents Executive Committee, the past three Middle States committees, the Sustainability Leadership Council, the Compliance and Ethics Committee, and Villanova’s presidential inauguration committee, for which she served as chair. She has been an integral part of Villanova’s sexual assault prevention efforts since the early 1990s and was Villanova’s Sexual Harassment Complaint Officer from 1993 to 2020. She was also central in the creation of the Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator (SARC) team and many of Villanova’s Title IX policies. In addition, Kathy has continued as an instructor at Villanova, teaching on several topics including law, leadership and student affairs in Catholic higher education.

Kathy is Past Board Chair of the Association of Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASACCU). The mission of ASACCU is to promote the exploration and sharing of knowledge to further holistic student development founded on Catholic mission, values, and identity. ASACCU hosts an annual conference for Student Affairs practitioners, which next summer will be hosted at Villanova University from June 25-28, 2024. 

She can be reached via email at kathleen.byrnes@villanova.edu