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Podcast Episode #41 with WSU CAS Dean, Todd Butler

What does it mean to be a Dean of a university college? What are the expectations that come along with that? And how can a Dean positively impact the students in their college now and in the future?

These are all questions I was burning to ask today’s guest –and let me tell you, he delivered!

In this episode of the CougsFirst! Podcast, I am joined by the amazing Dean Todd Butler, who oversees the College of Arts and Sciences –a massive program within WSU. He has such an amazing story and history that led him to this point, and also some really cool things in the works for WSU students moving forward. 

During our conversation, the Dean and I talked about why crossing boundaries is a part of the Cougar culture, what his response to the mental health crisis is, how he’s adjusted his leadership to meet his faculty needs, how he uses both data and purpose to create strategies geared toward WSU students, the challenges of managing multiple campuses and so much more!

We cover a LOT in this episode, and you definitely want to hear what’s in store for the College of Arts and Sciences (and beyond)! I’m so excited. Also, is it too late to change my major even though I graduated over a decade ago!?

Out of Classroom Interactions

“Our responsibility is not only to provide the learning, but facilitate those out of classroom interactions and support them. And then also be there when students come back and say, Wow, I just had this amazing experience that helped me make sense of it educationally.”

Making Virtue Out of Diversity

“How do we make a virtue out of that diversity that we have? How do we think through the value of that? What we found is that the most important word in Arts and Sciences is ‘and.’ It is the ability to cross those disciplines. We have students in the faculty who are math experts, but love playing the cello. And you can be both in Arts and Sciences.”

Creating Pathways vs. Barriers

“It’s really important for us to create those pathways, so that that same curiosity of a student, and that same lack of knowing, is actually a catalyst for them getting to know, rather than an intimidating barrier for them pursuing that work.”

Where to Find CAS & Dean Todd Butler:





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