Dr. P. Barry Butler became the sixth president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on March 13, 2017. Embry-Riddle is the world’s leading institution of higher education focusing on aviation, aerospace, and research. The nonprofit, independent university offers more than 80 bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering, and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates more than 31,000 students annually at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona, through the Worldwide Campus at more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and through online programs.
Most recently Dr. Butler was Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Iowa (UI) in Iowa City. As Provost he was responsible for more than 100 academic programs in UI’s 11 colleges. He also oversaw the Division of Continuing Education, the Library, and the Art Musuem, and was responsible for a General Education budget of more than $700 million. He also coordinated the university’s cluster hiring initiatives in water sustainability, aging mind and brain, digital public arts, humanities, and informatics.
He joined UI in 1984 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and progressed to the rank of professor. Before entering administration in 1998, he was a member of the Engineering Faculty Council, the Faculty Senate, and the Faculty Council.
Other positions Dr. Butler held at UI were Department Executive Officer of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, and Interim Dean and Dean of Engineering, where he held the rank of full professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.
During Dr. Butler’s 10 years as Dean, the College of Engineering experienced record growth in undergraduate enrollment, external research funding, private support for faculty development, programmatic initiatives, facility improvements, and student scholarships.
He was active in a number of aerospace-related instructional activities at UI, where he was the campus coordinator for the Iowa Space Grant Consortium to promote aerospace research. As a member of Eastern Iowa’s Corridor STEM Initiative, he was a strong advocate for working with industry, community colleges, and K-12 educators to promote STEM education.
At the University of Iowa Dr. Butler formed a statewide consortium to advance Iowa’s competitiveness in wind energy through his own research. He currently co-chairs the American Wind Energy Association’s Research and Development Committee.
Dr. Butler holds three degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: a bachelor’s in Aeronautical Engineering (1979), a master’s in Astronautical Engineering (1981), and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (1984).