Curriculum Vitae



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


Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC, Chandler Arizona 2017 to present
Director of Curriculum Development, The Curriculum Center of Excellence

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

  • Provide strategic leadership and management within the Dream Center Education Holdings Center for Curriculum Excellence in the areas of overall Center structure and vision, managed services, program development and redevelopment, online course creation and management, LMS administration, micro credential development, faculty support, and persistence initiatives.
  • Member of Dream Center Education Holdings Master Calendar leadership teams for program and course development, general education consortium creation and course design principle implementation.
  • Current management of online course development team of instructional designers, media designers, quality assurance and learning management system administrators
  • With the Art Institutes I was responsible for a rigorous and widely collaborative curriculum development and review process for all programs delivered to students at each of The Art Institute campuses and online delivery, a system of more than 50 schools located throughout North America.
  • Manage the research, development and implementation of new degree programs for The Art Institutes.
  • Served on the leadership team for the institutional conversion of the Learning Management System from Pearson Learning Studio to Brightspace.
  • Coordinated management, delivery and improvement of system learning resources and other support services for Art Institute students nationwide, including Pearson Learning Studio campus and online support and the oversight of e-book and digital resource campus selection and implementation processes.
  • Provided strategic guidance and academic leadership for programmatic curricular issues, delivery of program outcomes, interdisciplinary coursework, interdepartmental collaborations of 28 bachelor, associate, diploma and certificate programs in design and media arts (23 offered online).
  • As Associate Dean of the Art Institutes I managed and evaluated of 8 academic program chairs, 7 online program directors and 12 programs of study including foundation studies. Degree programs include Graphic Design, Advertising, Media Arts & Animation, Industrial Design, Entertainment Design, Interior Design, Kitchen & Bath Design, Photography, Digital Filmmaking & Video Production, Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, Web Design & Interactive Media, Game Art & Design and Foundations.
  • As interim Dean and Associate Dean of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh I had oversight of collegial collaboration, support, rigor and ethics between the campus-based (over 2300 students) and online (over 16,000 students) modalities in areas of curriculum, assessment and student outcomes. Working with the Associate Dean of Distance Education, our focus on collaboration between faculty in both modalities has expanded to included participation and mutual input in all departmental academic decisions, participation in Faculty Senate Commit- tees, programmatic accreditation efforts and curriculum development. Ensure student out-comes and competencies are being met for campus-based, online and PLUS (hybrid) students.
  • Focused on meeting consistent academic key performance metrics, including average registered credits (ARC) and student retention rates. Provided oversight to Academic Department Chairs to increase departmental accountability for ARC and retention by establishing consistent communication and reporting between chair, online program director, academic advisor, and student financial planner to ensure students register for a full credit load, student/instructor ratios were maintained and student drop rates were mitigated.


  • Management and oversight of national curriculum review and revision processes and new product development for campus and online curriculum, incorporating national industry feedback and input, local campus program advisory feedback and input, campus-nominated faculty driven review task force groups and a comprehensive system-wide faculty review and assessment period.
  • Current oversight of the development of a national standardized General Education curriculum across 51 campuses and online. The design process includes the solicitation of proposals from faculty nationally, ensuring compliance across all state regulatory general education
    requirements as well as regional and national accreditation guidelines, and the implementation of national faculty-driven task force development groups across the various general education disciplines (i.e. math, science, English, humanities, etc.).
  • Managed the national introduction and implementation of an emporium-style math lab within each of The Art Institutes system schools and online classroom. The Math Redesign initiative was spurred by the need to address challenges within the remedial education framework, improve student learning outcomes and offerrs active, independent learning through locally developed, self-paced math courses. Designed to help students advance on their own schedules, the courses offer immediate feedback and ensure students understand expectations and meet required milestones. The course is staffed by math faculty offering increased one-on-one and small group tutoring/instruction sessions and is delivered in a classroom setting. Math Redesign support sources including interactive media tools, videos, collaboration and tutoring. The course was developed in collaboration with campus faculty and piloted with a complete faculty training initiative, the implementation of a faculty peer mentor system and comprehensive faculty resource materials.
  • Currently managing a national English Composition Redesign initiative designed to overcome the challenges of remedial education, increase student writing support and provide more classroom engagement and focused instruction. Designed in collaboration with a national task force of faculty and academic leadership, the initiative is currently in pilot phase.
  • Development of a national Color Theory Digital Initiative which provided curriculum support and training for the conversion of a traditional paint-based foundational studies course (color theory) to a more relevant and engaging digitally-based course.
  • Monthly collaboration with a faculty curriculum advisory panel, addressing and meeting the challenges of curriculum development and implementation in an expansive system of campuses.
  • Coordination of new program launches in areas of design and media arts aligning campus- based and online curriculum implementation at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh campus. Launched 13 new diploma and certificate programs designed to recruit from an expanded demographic base. 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.
  • Served 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 4-year regionally accredited bachelor-degree granting institution in 2000. Served on the institutional bachelor degree self-study committee drafting needs statements, assessments, competencies, and student outcome and employment profiles. Chaired self-study process for degree programs.
  • Served on The Art Institute of Pittsburgh regional accreditation reaffirmation steering committee in 2010 leading to a 10-year reaffirmation with Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) for both campus and online delivery.
  • Working with the Academic Director of Interior Design and the Online Program Director, led the successful programmatic accreditation and reaffirmation efforts with the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) for both The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division Interior Design departments.
  • Provided strategic leadership in moving The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in alignment with national model curriculum. With a focus on reducing the number of active audits and curriculum revisions, implemented a curriculum review process utilizing Program Advisory boards that will meet the needs of the institution, the online delivery and the Ai system.

Persistence and Retention

  • Counseled all 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 Department Chairs accountable for meeting student registration metrics.

Strategic Planning/Budget Development

  • Member of FY13-14 national executive planning committee and discussion panel lead by the Art Institutes President and Vice-President of Strategy for the development of national strategic initiatives in all functional operating areas.
  • Member of Advisory/Steering Committee and working groups for the exploration of alternative curriculum delivery models, working nationally with campus and online faculty, academic leadership and presidents with a goal of increased student satisfaction and engagement, student retention, increased return on investment and increased graduation timelines.
  • Member of Advisory/Steering Committee and working groups for the exploration of alternative curriculum delivery models, working nationally with campus and online faculty, academic leadership and presidents with a goal of increased student satisfaction and engagement, student retention, increased return on investment and increased graduation timelines.
  • Currently serving on both the advisory board and working committee piloting new asynchronous courses in a new project-based online environment implementing project-based assignments, a milestone tracking module, an increased collaborative community environment, and 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
  • Worked with national Directors of Institutional Effectiveness to research and evaluate potential assessment management systems for system-wide implementation.
  • Worked with the Vice-President of Academic Affairs in the development of the Academic Affairs fiscal year operating and capital budgets and the development departmental budgets. Ensured that alignment with departmental strategic planning, operating and capital needs were assessed yearly as well as student help, teaching assistants, library resources, advising and registrar needs, and staffing and student success initiatives.
  • At The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, oversaw the development of 3-year departmental strategic plans and initiatives utilizing a SWOT analysis, faculty input and measurable results.

Faculty Leadership

  • Working with a diverse faculty for over 17 years, I have established a solid position of leadership, trust, and respect. Skilled in conflict resolution, I am well known for my ability to lead faculty and to help them overcome obstacles both in and out of the classroom. My experience as an educator and administrator effectively translates to helping faculty and students realize their full potential.
  • Guided the majority of the full-time faculty at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh through credentialing at the master’s level. For many faculty, this meant meeting the challenges of completing a bachelor and master’s degree 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.
  • Aligned with Art Institute central 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.

Teaching (2001-2005)

  • Responsible for full-time instruction in design areas of Corporate Communications, Corporate Identity, Art Direction, Portfolio, Promotional Design, Advertising Design and Photoshop.
  • Conceptualization and implementation the Graphic Design Studio Honor’s Class, in which students work within an authentic learning environment with community clients. Design Studio students served over 100 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).

Committee Work

  • Member of FY13-14 national executive planning committee and discussion panel lead by the Art Institutes President and Vice-President of Strategy for the development of national strategic initiatives in all functional operating areas.
  • Member of Advisory/Steering Committee and working groups for the exploration of alternative curriculum delivery models for the Art Institutes.
  • Member of Advisory Board and Working Committee to develop a new student experience model for online courses (currently).
  • Member of working committee to review competency-based program development process for Argosy University.
  • Middle States Self-Study Subcommittee for Standard 7, Institutional Assessment (Chair).
  • Middle States Self-Study Subcommittee for Admissions and Educational Offerings (member, 2006).
  • Dean’s Advisory Faculty Senate Committee (Chair).
  • Dean’s Advisory Faculty Senate Committee (Faculty Chair, 2002-2004).
  • Community Outreach Faculty Senate Committee (Chair).
  • Academic Policies and Procedures Faculty Senate Committee (Member, 2007-2009)
  • Art Institute of Pittsburgh Network Initiative (Chair).
  • Showcase/Artwork Installation Committee (Chair).

Community Engagement

  • The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Gallery Committee (Chair)
  • Annual Faculty Show Committee (Chair)
  • EDMC Foundation Scholarship Committee
  • Graduation Committee Chair, (2005-2008)
  • Student Conduct Panel (Member)
  • Student Academic Progress (SAP) Committee (Co-Chair)
  • Facilities Planning Committee (Member)
  • Student Success Committee (Member)
  • Academic Affairs Council (Member)
  • Key Management Team (Member)
  • National Graphic Design Task Force
  • Executive Committee Leadership Institute (completed)
  • Academic Leadership Institute (completed)
  • Art Institutes Academy (completed)
  • Principal Administrator/Investigator for joint project between The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (CARA)/National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant. Responsible for oversight of the design and implementation of various extreme cold weather gear and human-powered vehicles to be used in Antarctica. Supervised efforts for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh involvement, budgeting and managing NSF subcontract. Spent over 2 weeks in Antarctica/South Pole as a 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 work on cosmology display design and installation with the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum as well as the Museum of Natural History in New York City.
  • Conceptualized, designed and implemented the Graphic Design Studio Honor’s Class, which students work in an authentic learning environment with community-based and client-based (non-profit) projects. Served as instructor of the studio for over 4 years. Design Studio served over 100 clients during this time.
  • 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.
  • Supervised many long-range community service projects for the institution including partnerships with the Pittsburgh Zoo, The Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica/The National Science Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, the Veteran’s Administration, The Center for Creative Play, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Pittsburgh Regatta.
  • The Art Institute of Pittsburgh effectively developed a model for community service best practices within the Ai system of schools ensuring that each investment in college resources is properly managed to ensure the most favorable student outcomes, inter-collegiate promotion for Admissions staff awareness and external publicity to promote The Art Institute’s distinct reputation.

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 toward building 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
    rela- tionships between the college and regional high school teachers.

Memberships, Awards and Recognition

  • Recipient of 2005 Art Institute of Pittsburgh Inez Hall Award recognizing faculty excellence
  • Recipient of Career College Associate Award for faculty excellence in 2005
  • Service Excellence Award – University of Pittsburgh Medical Center