President’s Cabinet

Claire Konopa Aigotti—General Counsel

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Claire Konopa Aigotti became Butler University’s first General Counsel in August 2013. As the General Counsel, she oversees all University legal matters, including those related to human resources and employment, student policies and discipline, business negotiations and contracts, real estate, litigation, and risk management.

A 1993 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she previously served as Associate General Counsel at the University of Note Dame where she led the Litigation and Student Issues team for the Office of General Counsel. In that capacity, she represented the University in all aspects of state and federal court litigation including personal injury, discrimination, breach of contract, student issues, collections, tenure and employment, and worker’s compensation. Ms. Aigotti also represented the University in matters stemming from Office of Civil Rights inquiries or complaints. In addition to contract drafting and review, she provided legal advice to University departments in areas of potential liability and litigation, managing risk and preventative law, and areas specific to student academics, discipline, and behavioral standards.

From 1996 through 2007, she was a partner at the law firm Konopa, Reagan and Aigotti, P.C. where she devoted her time to a variety of civil litigation matters including personal injury, product liability, insurance bad faith, and divorce matters through mediations, trials, and appeals.

After graduating from Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, she received her juris doctor degree from St. Thomas University School of Law in 1996.

For the school year 2008-2009, she was a concurrent Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School teaching courses in Trial Advocacy and Deposition Skills.

She was on the Board of Governors for the St. Joseph County Bar Association from 2006-2012, is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, and was a Barrister in the Robert A. Grant Inn of Court.

Bruce E. Arick—Vice President for Finance and Administration

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Bruce E. Arick has served the University in various capacities since 1990. Since 2012 he has served as Vice President for Finance and Administration and Assistant Treasurer with oversight of financial areas, facilities, information technology, and police department. He previously held positions at the University include Vice President for Finance, Controller, Assistant Controller, and Senior Accountant. He also served as Controller at Southern Bells Inc., as well as Staff Accountant and Senior Auditor with Ernst & Young LLP, both located in Indianapolis. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana University and became a Certified Public Accountant of Indiana in 1991. Arick is a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers. He currently serves on the Church Development Fund Capital, Inc. Board.

Brooke Barnett— Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

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Brooke Barnett joined Butler University in June 2019. Her career as a teacher and scholar spans more than 25 years. At Elon University Barnett chaired the faculty governing body and served on the President’s senior cabinet, most recently as Associate Provost for Academic and Inclusive Excellence. Barnett is a board member of AAC&U and serves as a faculty member for the HERS institutes for women leaders in higher education. Her monographs and co-edited books include Multidisciplinary Approaches to Communication Law Research (2006), Media Coverage of Crisis: The War on Terror and the Wars in Iraq (2005), The Press and Terrorism: An Uneasy Relationship (2009), An Introduction to Visual Theory and Practice in the Digital Age (2011), and Intersectionality in Action: A Guide for Faculty and Campus Leaders for Creating Inclusive Classrooms and Institutions (2016).

Melissa Beckwith—Vice President for Strategy and Innovation

Melissa Beckwith became the University’s first Vice President for Strategy and Innovation in 2017 after successfully serving as the Interim Vice President for Marketing, Communications, and Strategic Innovation. Beckwith came to the Marketing and Communications Department from the Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG), where she started as Manager and Practice Lead. At the BBCG, she worked with a diverse group of industries, from manufacturing and distribution to higher education. She also has served as Senior Director of Strategy and Innovation in Information Technology at Butler. Before returning to her alma mater, she served as the Director of Business Development and Client Services at MarketVision Communications Inc., and Associate Director of Marketing Communications for Valparaiso University. Beckwith earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Butler and an MBA from Valparaiso in 2005.

Grant Leiendecker—Vice President and Director of Athletics

Grant Leiendecker ’11, a member of the Bulldogs’ 2010 and 2011 men’s basketball teams that reached the national championship game, assumed his Vice President and Director of Athletics responsibilities in May of 2024. 

Leiendecker returned to Butler after spending the previous four years as Assistant Vice President, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development at Marquette University. In addition to leading the athletics development team at Marquette, Leiendecker served as a member of the athletics and university advancement leadership teams. Under his leadership, Marquette Athletics achieved consistent annual growth in total fundraising and donor participation over the previous four years, culminating with a total of more than $15.7 million in commitments in the most recent fiscal year. Leiendecker previously served as Director of Major Gifts for The Rams Club at University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. As a member of the UNC athletics fundraising team, he played an integral role in achieving record-setting fundraising years of more than $60 million for three consecutive years.

Leiendecker was a scholarship member of the Butler men’s basketball program. He was inducted into the Butler Athletics Hall of Fame in 2021 along with his teammates on the 2010 and 2011 teams that made appearances in the national championship game. He graduated from Butler in 2011 with a degree in finance. After graduation, he served as a postgraduate intern at the NCAA in Indianapolis before moving to Chapel Hill to attend graduate school. Leiendecker earned a master’s degree in sport administration from UNC in 2014.

Grant and his wife, Kylee, have five children—Luke, Louise, Lucy, Lettie, and Lawson.

Lori Greene—Vice President for Enrollment Management

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Lori Greene brings more than 27 years of experience in enrollment management to Butler.  She began her career in higher education at her alma mater, Spring Hill College located in Mobile, Alabama. During this time she earned her MBA from the University of South Alabama.  In 2000, she transitioned to Loyola University New Orleans, where she spent eight years in the Office of Admission.  By 2008, Lori moved from the Dean of Admission role and joined the Loyola University Chicago Office of Admission as the Director of Undergraduate Admission.  Her tenure at Butler began in April of 2015 as the Vice President for Enrollment Management.

Over the years, Lori has been an active member, and Board Director nominee, for the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC).  She has served in numerous roles within the Southern ACAC, Illinois ACAC, and presently within the Indiana ACAC which includes serving as the Admission Practices Co-Chair.  Lori also serves as a member of the Common App Board in the role of the Finance Committee Chair and serves on the Development Committee as a Board Member for the International Center of Indiana.

Brenda Harrington—Vice President for Human Resources

Brenda Harrington returned to her alma mater in 2022. With over 25 years of experience in HR, she has developed expertise in employee relations, strategic planning, change management, process improvement, and staff management and development. Brenda has worked for organizations such as Eli Lilly and Company, AT&T, and CNO Financial Services. While at these organizations, she worked to build and lead HR teams, elevate DEI initiatives, implement solutions for individuals with disabilities, and lead performance management processes.

She continues to follow her passion for education and use her expertise as she serves on the board of trustees for The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Eastern Star Church.

She received her undergraduate degree from Purdue University in Electrical Engineering and her MBA from Butler University.

Aaron Hurt—Vice President- Arts, Events, and Enterprise Management

Aaron Hurt joined the University with the opening of the Schrott Center in 2013 and has since worked in various roles in the Butler Arts Center up to his current position of Executive Director, which he has held since August of 2018. Aaron oversaw the merger of the Butler Arts Center and University Events into one division, the Butler Arts and Events Center, which oversees 1,400 events annually across the University—everything from week-long Broadway runs in Clowes Memorial Hall to receptions and meetings across campus. Aaron was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class of 2020, and in 2016 he was named to the International Association of Venue Managers’ 30 Under 30 class. Aaron is an alum of Butler University’s Arts Administration program and is proud to work for the University that launched him into the career he loves.

Jonathan Purvis—Vice President for University Advancement

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Jonathan Purvis was named Vice President for University Advancement in 2018. Before joining Butler, he served as Vice President for Development and Regional Campuses at Indiana University. Prior to that, Purvis served as Executive Director of Development and Alumni relations for the Indiana University School of Education and Senior Director for Capital Projects at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also held varied positions at the Indiana University Foundation ranging from Executive Director of Special Gifts and Annual Giving to Assistant to the President. Purvis has 20 years of higher education development experience, holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential and has taught a variety of fundraising courses at Indiana University. He is a frequent presenter with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and is a contributing author to the third edition of the acclaimed Achieving Excellence in Fundraising. Purvis holds a bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in Public Affairs, both from Indiana University.

Frank E. Ross III—Vice President for Student Affairs

Frank joined Butler University in 2017, after serving as Vice President for Student Life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.  Before that he was the Vice President for Student Affairs at Northeastern Illinois University.

Frank is a national leader in the student affairs profession with involvement in NASPA, the preeminent international association dedicated to the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. He served as a member of the NASPA Board of Directors, was the national director of Knowledge Communities, and served as chair for the 2016 NASPA Annual Conference. He also was a member of the James E. Scott Academy Board for senior student affairs officers. Currently, Frank is a steering committee member for NASPA Advisory Services.

Frank earned his PhD in higher education from Indiana University, and then completed the higher education management development program at Harvard University.

The majority of his scholarship has focused on student development and success in the first college year, with a special emphasis on creating conditions for success for students from underrepresented backgrounds and identities. Frank previously served as the Editor of the Journal of Learning Communities Research. His latest publication is a book focusing on professional competencies in student affairs.

Frank has received awards and recognition from NASPA, the National Resource Center on the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, the National Academic Advising Association, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the American College Personnel Association for his work and research. In addition, he received the 2016 Robert H. Shaffer Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University.

 Khalilah Shabazz—Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)

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Khalilah Shabazz joined Butler University on September 12, 2022. As Butler’s CDO, Dr. Shabazz serves as an important collaborative partner with internal and external stakeholders to proactively develop and implement plans, programs, and activities that educate and motivate members of the Butler community to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values to be collectively upheld in support of student learning and success. Previously she served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She served in a variety of other leadership roles since joining IUPUI in 2001, including a seven-year stint as the Founding Director of the Diversity Enrichment & Achievement Program. She also served as Director of IUPUI’s Multicultural Center. She earned a BS in Psychology from IUPUI and an MS and PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University. She has served as a diversity panelist for the NCAA, a diversity trainer for the Indianapolis–Marion County Police Department, and as a diversity guest speaker and workshop presenter for several companies and organizations across the United States. She is an active member in leadership with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and the President & Founder of SAAS National Organization, Inc.

Sherry Wallace—Vice President for Marketing and Brand Management

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Sherry Wallace joined Butler University on September 1, 2022. She leads the Marketing and Brand Management team, ensuring productive, creative, and customer-focused results across Brand Strategy, Enrollment Marketing, and Creative Services. Previously she served as Executive Director of Engagement and Inclusion at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish, as well as a Master of Business Administration, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She served her alma mater in a variety of leadership roles since 1998, including Director of MBA Admissions, Executive Director of Alumni Community, and Executive Director of Engagement and Inclusion at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. Prior to her career in higher education, Wallace spent more than a decade in corporate brand management and advertising. As a marketing and strategic business unit director at Fleer/SkyBox International, she oversaw a portfolio of licensed professional sports and entertainment trading card brands with sales revenue of more than $100 million. She also worked for Chicago’s Leo Burnett Company, developing new product concepts for Kraft Foods, and at Planters LifeSavers Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she served as an associate brand manager for Bubble Yum gum. Wallace is an active board member for the Compass Center for Women and Families and is a founding member of the 100 Women organization created by UNC Kenan-Flagler alumnae to accelerate female business leaders.

Mark Apple—Director of Strategic Communications

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Mark Apple joined Butler University in November 2020 and currently serves as the Director of Strategic Communications. His responsibilities include corporate communications, crisis communications and media relations. Over his career, Mark has held similar positions with Marian University, Harrison College, and Comcast among others. He is a lifelong Hoosier who earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Bloomington, with a double major in Journalism and Speech Communication. Away from work, Mark enjoys spending time with his three children, traveling, live music, and attending sporting events.