Unanimous support for Embry-Riddle’s new president


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Board of Trustees has named Dr. P. Barry Butler, executive vice president and provost at the University of Iowa, as its sixth president.

During a Feb. 14 meeting at the university’s headquarters in Daytona Beach, the board unanimously appointed Butler to the position after he received across-the-board support from a search committee that included trustees, faculty, staff and student representatives.

“It is important to note that Dr. Butler received 100 percent endorsement from everyone involved in this search. 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,” said Mori Hosseini, chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee.

“As a university, we thank Dr. Karen Holbrook for her interim leadership during the search for our president. We are confident that Dr. Butler will continue to take Embry-Riddle’s entire community to the next level.”

Longtime Iowa administrator
Butler will assume the position on March 13.

“I’m thrilled to be named Embry-Riddle’s next president and look forward to building upon the outstanding global reputation of the university,” Butler said.  “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.”

Butler joined University of Iowa faculty in 1984 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and subsequently progressed to the rank of professor. Before entering administration in 1998, Butler served as a member of the Engineering Faculty Council, as well as university of Iowa’s Faculty Senate and Faculty Council.

Other positions held at the University of Iowa include Department Executive Officer of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Interim Dean and Dean of Engineering, where he holds the rank of full professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Vast experience as educator, engineer
In his current role as provost, Butler has been responsible for more than 100 academic programs in the university’s 11 colleges, oversees the Division of Continuing Education, the Library and Art Museum and is responsible for a general education fund budget in excess of $700 million.

Butler earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979 and 1981, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1984, also from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In addition, he is active in a number of aerospace-related instructional and research activities at University of Iowa, where he also serves as campus coordinator of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, a statewide organization funded by NASA for the past 21 years whose mission is to coordinate and improve the state’s future in aerospace science and technology and to stimulate aerospace research, education and outreach activities throughout the state.

He established a statewide consortium (iawind.org) focused on research and curricular development that advances Iowa’s competitiveness in the field of wind energy with his own research in the area of non-ideal reactive fluid flow modeling.

Active on state, national boards
For the past decade he has worked closely with the automotive industry to develop advanced computer models for use in the design, development and analysis of occupant restraint safety systems.

He has experience working as a visiting research fellow for the U.S. Navy and Sandia National Laboratories and as a visiting faculty member at Universite de Provence in Marseille, France.

He also has served as a professional consultant with Combustion Sciences Incorporated, Princeton Combustion Research Laboratories, Iowa Public Defenders Office, TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Automotive Systems Laboratory, Battelle Memorial Institute and Praxair Surface Technologies.

Butler serves on the boards of several state and national technology-based organizations committed to economic growth and advancing science, technology, engineering and math education. Butler also serves as the Governor’s delegate to the Aerospace States Association. A
As an active participant in Eastern Iowa’s Corridor STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Initiative, he has been a strong advocate for working with industry, community colleges and K-12 educators to promote STEM education.

He is married to Dr. Audrey Butler, a lecturer in Chemical Engineering, and they have three children: Ben, 25, Logan, 23, and Savannah, 21.



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