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Todd Butler named interim dean of College of Arts and Sciences

Closeup of Todd Butler
Todd Butler

Todd Butler has been named interim dean of Washington State University’s College of Arts and Sciences following an open, internal search.

Butler will begin as interim dean Jan. 1, 2021. He has served as a faculty member in WSU’s Department of English since 2003, including two terms as department chair (2012-2018), and currently serves as associate dean for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Matthew Jockers resigned as dean, effective Dec. 31. He will remain a member of the faculty in the Department of English. The Office of the Provost is grateful to Jockers for the leadership and advocacy he has provided the College of Arts and Sciences over the past two years. Jockers will continue to be a valued member of the WSU community.

As associate dean for faculty, Butler has supervised personnel matters for the college, which includes more than 550 faculty across 36 different units in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. He has been responsible for hiring, tenure and promotion, annual and pre-tenure review, professional leaves, leadership and professional development, and joint participation in strategic planning, budget development, and enrollment management efforts. He also has served as the college’s representative on WSU’s Modernization Steering Committee and Fiscal Health Advisory Committee.

Butler is also the founding director of WSU’s Center for Arts and Humanities, which focuses on catalyzing public engagement and collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship and creative activity. In that capacity he leads the center’s Publicly Engaged Fellows program for graduate students and is the co-principal investigator for Humanities Extended, a Spencer Foundation-funded initiative to develop a network of humanities and Extension collaborations at more than 10 land-grant universities across the United States. He previously helped lead the development of the Office of Research’s “Advancing Opportunity and Equity” Grand Challenge, working with faculty in Arts and Sciences, Education, Communications, and Business to create a university-wide framework for trans-disciplinary research in areas such as poverty, discrimination, and educational inequality.

One of the newest colleges in the WSU system, the College of Arts and Sciences provides more than 50% of WSU’s total instruction and has five-year annual research expenditures of more than $26 million.

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