Dr. Stephen Butler is a forward-thinking creative leader with an ardent focus on
student performance, student and faculty opportunity and commitment to academic management defined by measurable results. Specialized in interdepartmental collaboration, student and employee conflict resolution, fiscal management, performance coaching and retention of highly specialized faculty. Personal attributes include a determined, decisive and direct leadership style and exceptional public speaking and strategic planning skills. Invested in providing a distinctive and high quality engaged and academic environment for the recruitment and retention of students and faculty.
Ed.D. – Argosy University, Instructional Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Technology, Teaching and Learning, 2013
M.Ed. – University of Pittsburgh, School of Education Administration and Policies Studies, 2005
B.S. – Graphic Design, LaRoche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1990
Boise State University – Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning. Coursework completed:
Foundations of Organizational Performance
Blended Learning for Performance Improvement
eLearning Content Design
The Art Institutes, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2012-Present
Director of Curriculum Development and Learning Resources
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1997 to 2012
Interim Dean of Academic Affairs
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Director, School of Design
Assistant Director, School of Design
Academic Department Chair: Graphic Design, Game Art & Design, Interactive Media Design, Digital Media Production and Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, Media Arts & Animation and Industrial Design
Full-Time Faculty, Graphic Design
Sladekutter, Ltd., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1994 to 1997
Creative Director, Print and Interactive
UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1990 to 1996
Computer Graphic Specialist, Creative Services
Graphic Designer, Creative Services
Management and Leadership
- Provided academic and strategic leadership, vision and planning, program development, online course creation, LMS administration, micro-credential development, faculty support, and retention initiatives for three nationally recognized institutions.
- Managed an online course development team of instructional designers, media designers, course resource specialists, quality assurance personnel and learning management system administrators.
- Served as an executive member of various leadership teams for program and course development, general education consortium creation and course design instructional principles implementation.
- Provided strategic guidance and academic leadership for programmatic curricular issues, delivery of program outcomes, interdisciplinary coursework, and interdepartmental collaboration of 28 bachelor, associate, diploma and certificate programs in design and media arts (23 offered online).
- Responsible for hiring, development, and management of academic program chairs and online program directors using consistent academic key performance metrics and establishing consistent communication and reporting methods
- Managed the research, development and implementation of new degree programs for the national system of 51 Art Institute campuses.
- Oversaw the management, delivery and improvement of system learning resources and other support services for students nationwide, including the oversight of e-book, digital resource, and campus technology selection and implementation processes.
- Served on the leadership implementation team for the institutional conversion of the learning management system from Pearson Learning Studio to D2L Brightspace.
- Management of national curriculum review and new product development for campus and online programs, incorporating national industry feedback, program advisory feedback and faculty input.
- Development of a national standardized General Education curriculum which included national solicitation of proposals from faculty and assurance of compliance across all state requirements and regional/national accreditation guidelines.
- Implementation of national emporium-style Math Initiative addressing remediation challenges and designed to improve student learning outcomes through active, independent learning with self-paced math courses. This initiative resulted in a significant increase of course pass rates for students enrolled in college math.
- Developed a national English Redesign initiative designed to overcome the challenges of remedial education, increase student writing support and provide more classroom engagement and focused instruction.
- Directed new program launches in areas of design and media arts, aligning campus and online curriculum. Guided the approval and regulatory processes to ensure compliance in all areas of recruitment-based materials. Provided global training to Admissions, Career Services and Academic Affairs and coordinated programmatic product training.
- Provided an integral leadership role in moving The Art Institute of Pittsburgh campus and online division from a nationally accredited associate-degree granting institution to a four-year regionally accredited bachelor-degree granting institution by chairing self-study process for degree programs.
- Served on various regional accreditation reaffirmation steering committees leading to a 10-year reaffirmation with Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) as well as supported various successful programmatic accreditations
Assessment and Evaluation
- Partnered with national institutional effectiveness directors in developing, implementing and revising both campus-level and institutional-level data-driven assessment processes ensuring the institution is always improving its educational and operational quality.
- Managed online and ground-based rubric development and course assessment. This included partnering with faculty subject matter experts in the identification and development of courses/programmatic outcomes and standards, the identification or development of reliable and valid instrumentation for measuring, implementation of processes, and analyzation/documentation of results.
- Employed portfolio review rubric data, IDEA course data, Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory data, Accuplacer and Compass test results, and other programmatic data in the systematic review of national curriculum across campuses as well as local curriculum to ensure relevant and meaningful outcomes, student success, compliance, and progress toward institutional strategic initiatives.
Persistence and Retention
- Counseled students returning from academic termination and probation on improving attendance, time-management practices, tutoring and remediation support, and classroom strategies designed to improve academic performance.
- Provided targets and direction for academic program leaders to lead accountability for meeting student registration metrics.
Strategic Planning/Budget Development
- Member of a national executive planning committee responsible for the development of national strategic initiatives in all functional operating areas for three national higher education institutions
- Member of advisory committee for the exploration of alternative curriculum delivery models, working nationally with campus and online faculty, academic leadership, and campus presidents with a goal of increased student satisfaction and engagement, student retention, increased return on investment and increased graduation timelines.
- Served on oversight committee to develop new asynchronous courses in a project-based online environment incorporating milestone tracking modules, increased collaborative community environment, and a more focused learning path designed to decrease student drop rates, increase passing rates, boost overall student satisfaction and increase student-to-student and student-to-faculty collaboration.
- Worked extensively on fiscal year operating and capital budgets within academic affairs. Ensured alignment with departmental strategic planning, operating and capital needs were assessed yearly as well as student employees, teaching assistants, library resources, advising and registrar needs, and staffing and student success initiatives.
- Steered three-year comprehensive strategic plans and initiatives utilizing a SWOT analysis, faculty input and measurable results.
- Established in faculty management and widely known for a leadership style cultivating trust, respect and results. Skilled in conflict resolution, also well-known for ability to help faculty and students overcome obstacles both in and out of the classroom. Experience effectively translates to helping faculty and students realize their full potential and working through change management.
- Guided the numerous faculty through rigorous credentialing requirements. For many faculty, this meant meeting the challenges of completing both bachelor’s and master’s degrees back-to-back. Provided dependable and trusted leadership through years of cultural and environmental changes for many long-term faculty challenged by institutional change.
- Served as Chair of Dean’s Advisory Committee and Academic Policy Committee with both campus and online faculty, working through faculty concerns and grievances and fostering an environment of collaboration and collegial respect.
- Managed centralized library services to provide self-paced faculty development and training modules, both in teaching and instruction as well as software, technology and programmatic skills-based tutorials.
- Responsible for full-time instruction in design with emphasis and specializations in Corporate Communications, Corporate Identity, Art Direction, Portfolio, Promotional Design, Advertising Design and Photoshop.
- Conceptualized and implemented the Studio Honor’s Class, in which students work within an authentic learning environment with community clients. Design Studio students served hundreds of clients under my leadership, most often connecting to advanced future opportunities including freelance, employment and expanded professional networks prior to graduation.
- Faculty advisor to the student chapter of the American Institute of Graphics Arts (AIGA).
- Served as Principal Administrator/Investigator for a joint project between The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (CARA)/National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant. Managed oversight of the design and implementation of various extreme cold weather gear and human-powered vehicles to be used in Antarctica. Spent two weeks in Antarctica at the South Pole as the community outreach liaison and educator on the project.
- Coordinated efforts on behalf of The Art institute of Pittsburgh with the Center for Astrophysical Research (CARA) in Antarctica to develop an installation on the DASI telescope with the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum as well as the Museum of Natural History in New York City.
- Provided project management and art direction for Creation Rex, the college’s contribution to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Dinomite Days. Supervised student production of all aesthetic features of the project, which has served as an iconic creative symbol for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and delivered millions of impressions through national print and broad- cast media coverage.
- Contributed to the musical production of Hungry Hearts, a series of fundraising concerts hosted by Hard Rock Café in Pittsburgh for the exclusive benefit of The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Marketing and High School Relations
- Partnered with national high school representatives and Admissions staff in assessing and developing new product information and training in conjunction with new program development and curriculum revisions.
- Served as liaison for guiding partnerships between Admissions and Academic Affairs designed to create engaging and informative demonstrations and creative showcases at more than 85 Open House events for the recruitment of new students.
- Served as judge, emcee and offered administrative support to an estimated 45 high school scholarship events designed to engage skilled high school students and foster strategic relationships between the college and regional high school teachers.