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Term Ending 2017

Johnnella E. Butler

Johnnella E. Butler, Spelman College

Johnnella E. Butler has been provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Spelman College and professor in the Department of Comparative Women’s Studies since 2005. During her tenure at the College, she has reorganized and brought greater stability to Academic Affairs and has initiated several major general education projects and strategic initiatives, including the Spelman MILE (My Integrated Learning Experience), the Undergraduate Research Project, and Spelman Going Global! (an expansion of global education as part of the undergraduate experience. In 2008, she established the Spelman Teaching Research and Resource Center. Prior to Spelman, Butler was at the University of Washington (UW) as professor of American Ethnic Studies with appointments in English and Women’s Studies, and associate dean and associate provost of the graduate school, where she established an award-winning program. At UW, she prepared 25 doctoral students in African American and American Ethnic Literary Studies. Early in her career, Butler taught at Towson State and was the first Black woman to be tenured at Smith College. She has been awarded major faculty and curriculum development grants her research interests spanning pedagogy, ethnic studies, and African American literary theory. Her focus is on identity; experience and interdisciplinarity; and the relationships among democracy, diversity, and civic engagement in liberal education, leading to institutional change. Butler has delivered numerous addresses and conducted workshops worldwide on interdisciplinarity and inclusivity. Her most recent publication, “Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward: Must This Be the Future of Diversity?” appeared in Liberal Education (2013).

She has been honored with the Carruthers Visiting Lectureship in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico; was named Distinguished Alumna at the College of Our Lady of the Elms; and received numerous awards while at UW, including the Liberal Arts Professorship and Dean’s Recognition Award, the Ethnic Studies Student Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Ethnic Studies Recognition and Achievement Award, the UW Multicultural Alumni Partnership Distinguished Community Service Award, and the

Charles Irby Distinguished Service Award from the National Association for Ethnic Studies. Butler has served on the Board of Liberal Education and serves on the Aspen Wye Seminars Advisory Board. A member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2009, she is a former trustee of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta; a member of the Executive Council of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, a policy advisory panel (2009-2013); serves on the Higher Education Resources Services faculty and the Executive Leadership Academy faculty; and was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education and the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

 

 

 

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