February 24, 2017 – Executive search firm Greenwood / Asher & Associates has placed Dr. P. Barry Butler as the sixth president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Partner Jan Greenwood led the search and was supported by Julie Holley, one of the firm’s principals and business unit directors, and senior search consultant / practice leader Shelley Feather.
“Embry-Riddle was seeking a distinguished scholar with proven experience in advancing a complex organization,” said Ms. Greenwood. “They were particularly focused on finding a leader with depth of experience in research and fundraising, of unquestioned integrity with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity and one with a commanding vision for higher education in the 21st century. They looked for success in building effective partnerships with key constituencies, especially in government and industry as well as someone with a global vision and powerful entrepreneurial instincts.”
According to Mori Hosseini, chairman of the university’s board of trustees and chairman of the presidential search committee, Dr. Butler’s selection received unanimous support: “From the members of the presidential search committee and the faculty advisory committee all of the way through the short list to the final approval of the board of trustees, there was one name that consistently rose to the top. And that was Dr. Butler.”
Dr. Butler currently serves as executive vice president and provost at the University of Iowa, where he has been responsible for more than 100 academic programs in the university’s 11 colleges, overseeing the division of continuing education, the library and art museum and a general education fund budget in excess of $700 million.
“Dr. Butler’s background and experience aligned closely with all the qualities and characteristics that Embry-Riddle indicated they were seeking in their next president,” said Ms. Greenwood. “Barry is a proven leader.” Ms. Greenwood noted that Dr. Butler has served at the University of Iowa since 1984, rising through the ranks to become a full professor and then taking on the role as interim dean of the college of engineering in 1999. “He was then selected as the permanent dean of the college of engineering in 2000 and remained dean until 2010 when he was selected to be the interim provost.” He was then named permanent Provost in 2011.
“At the University of Iowa, Barry has been viewed as a person of integrity with a passion for excellence and student success,” Ms. Greenwood said. She noted his extensive experience leading strategic planning efforts at the University twice. “Additionally, Barry’s experience leading the academic enterprise at a research university as well as his own background in aeronautical and astronautical engineering makes him particularly well-suited to lead Embry-Riddle as they position themselves to become a more complex research university.”
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“I’m thrilled to be named Embry-Riddle’s next president and look forward to building upon the outstanding global reputation of the university,” said Dr. Butler. “The energy and passion of the faculty, students, staff and board members I’ve met throughout the interview process made it clear I’m joining a very special institution.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University combines expertise and technology to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the aviation industry. The curriculum at Embry-Riddle covers the operation, marketing and management of modern aircraft and the systems that support them.
Greenwood / Asher & Associates focuses exclusively on executive search assignments for colleges and universities. The firm recently placed Dr. Flora Tydings as president of Chattanooga State Community College, Kenneth S. Hawkinson as president of Kutztown University, and H. Fred Walker as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media