Todd Butler becomes dean of WSU’s College of Arts and Sciences

Dean started as professor of English literature, assumed new role March 14



Todd Butler started as a professor of English renaissance literature and later became the head of the English department.

ANNA MICHALSON, Evergreen reporter

Former Interim Dean Todd Butler has recently taken on the position of dean of WSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. 

Butler began working at WSU 18 years ago. He said he wanted something bigger and more challenging after working at a small school in Tennessee. 

“I got an offer from Texas Tech and an offer from Washington State University, and no one had ever told [me] that I should have gone to Lubbock, Texas, instead of Pullman,” he said. “I’ve never regretted making that choice at all.”

What Butler said he loves most about WSU is the community of students and staff who surround him. 

“It’s been a really wonderful community — great students, great colleagues,” he said. “I’m lucky I get to keep working.”

Butler said he started as a professor of English renaissance literature and later became the head of the English department. After his time as department head, Butler became associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. 

“I supervised and coordinated the hiring, the professional development, the tenure and promotion, and really the professional advancement of about 600 faculty across all our campuses,” he said. 

The former dean, Matt Jockers, stepped down and Butler was in line to take his position. Butler said he formally assumed the role March 14.

Butler said he hopes to get all staff and students back to learning safely in person by next school year. He also wants to continue to improve the college, as arts and sciences classes are some of the first courses students encounter during their collegiate journey. 

“He has a stellar reputation among his colleagues as being thoughtful, inclusive and certainly hard-working,” said Elizabeth Chilton, WSU provost and executive vice president. “We really got to see his deep, deep commitment to the issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, and that really impressed me as well.” 

Chilton said Butler will be responsible for the academic mission of colleagues, upholding academic quality and financial planning.