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Office of the President

Executive Council

Claire Konopa Aigotti—General Counsel

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 Arick

Bruce E. Arick—Vice President for Finance and Administration

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.

Melissa Beckwith

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.

Barry Collier—Vice President and Director of Athletics

Since August 2006, Barry Collier has served as the athletic director at Butler University. Previously, he coached college basketball for 30 years, including the position of head coach at both Butler University and University of Nebraska, as well as assistant coach positions at Rose-Hulman, Seattle Central Community College, Idaho, Oregon and Stanford universities. Collier first came to Butler as a student-athlete in 1974, following two years at Miami-Dade Community College, and played basketball under Coach George Theofanis for two seasons. He earned a bachelor's degree from Butler in 1976 and a master's degree from Indiana State University in 1977. Collier serves on the board of directors for the National Association of Basketball Coaches and is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, NCAA Men's Basketball Issues Committee, NCAA FCS Governance Committee, Horizon League Executive Council and Horizon League Finance Committee.

Lori Greene

Lori Greene—Vice President for Enrollment Management

Lori Greene brings more than 20 years of experience to Butler, starting with six years at her undergraduate alma mater, Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Alabama. She worked there as a tour guide while a student and, after graduation in 1994, as an Admission Counselor. She worked her way up to Associate Director of Admissions (and earned an MBA at the University of South Alabama) before moving to Loyola University New Orleans, where she spent eight years. In 2008, she joined the administration at Loyola University Chicago, where she was Director of Undergraduate Admission. Greene and her husband, Greg, have a 2-year-old daughter, Gillian. 

Kate Morris

Kathryn Morris—Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

Morris earned her bachelor of arts from Gettysburg College and both her master of arts and doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. Her areas of expertise include social psychology, psychology of gender, methodology and statistics. Morris is a charter member and the first president of Butler's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and has received numerous honors and awards during her time at Butler. Within her professional organizations, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Morris has done considerable work to develop and improve mentoring programs, empower teachers and develop collaboration among teachers.

University Advancement Vice President Jonathan Purvis

Jonathan Purvis—Vice President for University Advancement

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.

Brent Rockwood

Brent Rockwood—Vice President and Chief of Staff

Brent Rockwood ‘00 returned to his alma mater in November of 2019 to serve as Vice President, Chief of Staff. Rockwood oversees the University’s Marketing and Communications Division as well as a range of initiatives intended to advance the University with internal and external stakeholders. He represents Butler in the community, serves as a liaison across campus, and works with the Board of Trustees, President’s Office, and leadership team on a variety of significant University projects.

A graduate of Butler, Rockwood played on the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame basketball team in 1996–1997. He worked for Eli Lilly and Company in a variety of sales, brand, and marketing roles after graduation. In 2007, Rockwood earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and proceeded to serve as a director in the areas of communications, community partnerships, government affairs, and investor and media relations for Fortune 500 companies. Prior to returning to Butler, Rockwood served as Senior Vice President of Corporate, Community and Public Relations for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, where he was responsible for strategies involving communications and external relationships for the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Pacers Gaming, Pacers Foundation, and operations of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena and its more than 500 annual events.

Rockwood serves on the Board of Directors for the Indianapolis Urban League, Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, and the Pacers Foundation.

Frank Ross

Frank E. Ross III—Vice President for Student Affairs

Frank joined Butler in June 2017, after serving as Vice President for Student Life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and 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.

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.

John Conley

Chief John Conley—Chief of Public Safety

Chief John Conley served 39 years with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) before joining the University Police in 2015. He held many leadership positions with IMPD to include Deputy Chief of Operations, Commander of Southeast District, and Lieutenant in their Human Resource office. Chief Conley is a 2002 graduate of the FBI National Academy and was instrumental in co-planning police operations for Super Bowl XLVI which was held in Indianapolis. He has been the recipient of the American Legion Spartan Award for Valor and Police Officer of the Year.

Gina Forrest, PhD

Gina Forrest—Executive Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dr. Gina is a native Hoosier and wants to make Indiana a more inclusive and healthier state!

She has earned a MPH (Masters of Public Health) and a PhD in Health Behavior from Indiana University - Bloomington. Gina has been in the field of training and facilitating discussions in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity, and cultural awareness for some time. Topics include Bias, Race, and Ethnicity; Working with and across the Generations; Healthy Communication; Aging; Gender; Identity; Socioeconomic Status; and de-escalation.

In addition, she has over 13 years of experience in the public health field where her expertise is in grant management, conducting needs assessments, program planning, and evaluation. She has taught college-level courses at Butler University and Indiana University—including Health Disparities, Public Health Program Planning, Public Health Administration, Healthcare in Diverse Communities, Personal Health, Exploring Public Health, and Community Health.

Amia Foston

Amia K. Foston—Director of Institutional Research and Assessment

Amia K. Foston, an experienced higher education professional, rejoined Butler in late 2019 to lead the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA), after previously serving as assistant director for three years. OIRA’s responsibilities range from administering end-of-course surveys and reporting institutional data externally to coordinating campus-wide assessment and providing timely analyses and insights internally to help inform decision-making.

Before returning to Butler, Foston worked in higher education philanthropy as the strategic impact and research officer at Lumina Foundation. He has also conducted state-wide education and workforce research at the Indiana Business Research Center affiliated with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Earlier in his career, Amia also served as a senior-level administrator for a small private university in the Midwest.

Foston is a double-graduate of Howard University with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and an MBA in finance. He also holds a master’s degree in urban planning from New York University and later earned his PhD in sociology from Indiana University - Bloomington. 

Amia lives in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood with his wife and daughter.

Aaron Hurt

Aaron Hurt—Executive Director for Butler Arts and Events Center

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.

Jarvis

Michelle Jarvis—Associate Provost

Michelle Jarvis was appointed Associate Provost for Academic Affairs in June of 2017. Jarvis, a Butler University alumna, joined the Jordan College of Arts dance faculty in 1986 after teaching at Millikin University (Decatur, IL) and at the Jordan College Academy of Dance. Jarvis served as Associate Dean from 2009 and 2011-16, and Chair of the Department of Dance and Artistic Director of Butler Ballet from 2003-2010. She also served as the Jordan College of Fine Arts Interim Dean for the 2010-11 and 2016-17 academic years.

A company member of Dance Kaleidoscope, Jarvis also performed with the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre. She also guest teacher at university dance programs, professional dance schools and companies. Jarvis was named resident choreographer for Indianapolis Opera and choreographed operas for over 20 season. Choreographic credits include over 20 original one act ballets, and classical repertoire to include The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Giselle and Petrouchka. 

Jarvis served as a national officer of the National Association of Schools of Dance, and an accreditation evaluator. She is also a member of the board of directors for Dance Kaleidoscope.

Stephanie Judge Cripe

Stephanie Judge Cripe—Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Stephanie Judge Cripe is a strategic marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in higher education marketing. She is the University’s brand manager and has a strategic leadership role in the University’s branding and marketing efforts. She manages the division’s leadership team including account planning, creative services, external relations, arts marketing, and enrollment marketing.

Cripe previously held the positions of Director of Marketing Strategy for Butler University and Director of Marketing for the Butler College of Business (now the Lacy School of Business), in addition to serving as a marketing consultant for higher education clients. Prior to Butler, she served as the Manager of Marketing and Recruitment for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI in Indianapolis.

She earned a Master of Business Administration from Butler University and a Bachelor of Journalism in Advertising from the University of Nebraska. Her areas of expertise and experience are marketing strategy, branding, research and analytics, strategic planning, student recruitment, and integrated marketing communications. She has held board positions with the American Marketing Association and CASE Indiana, and has presented at the AMA Symposium for Higher Education Marketing, CASE Indiana conferences, and CASE District V conferences.

Austin Oldham

Austin Oldham—Director for Risk Management and Insurance

Austin Oldham has served as the Director of Risk Management and Insurance at Butler University since 2018. Previously, he held positions as a risk analyst at Purdue University and associate underwriter at Burns & Wilcox. Oldham's duties include risk financing, transfer and mitigation activities as well as overseeing the University's enterprise risk management program. He is also a proud graduate from the Butler University Davey Risk Management & Insurance program. Oldham serves on the Board for the Indianapolis Chapter of the Risk Management Society (RIMS) and works with Biglife, a missions organization in over 130 countries, providing training and support.

Pete Williams

Peter Williams—Associate Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer 

Peter Williams joined Butler University in June 2015 with responsibility for strategy and vision of the University’s technology initiatives. Williams came to Butler from Marian University, where he was Assistant Vice President, Chief Information Officer. In 2011, Marian built the state of Indiana’s first new medical school in over 100 years. In its second year of operation, it was called “the most technologically advanced college of osteopathic medicine in the country.” Williams also has held technology-related positions with several Central Indiana companies in consulting, healthcare, finance, and ecommerce. Williams also volunteers as a technology advisor for local K-12 schools. He earned both his Bachelor of Science in General Studies and his Master of Science in Information and Communication Sciences from Ball State University where, as an undergraduate, he was a member of the 1996 MAC championship football team.

Brooke Barnett

Brooke Barnett—Dean, College of Communication

Brooke Barnett joined Butler University in June 2019. Previously she served for 18 years in at Elon University where was the founding director of the Elon Program for Documentary Production, chair of the faculty governing body, and Executive Director of the Sunshine Center of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition. Dean Barnett is a board member of AAC&U, serves as a regular site team member for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and serves on the Alumni Board of The Media School at Indiana University-Bloomington. 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). 

Lisa Brooks

Lisa Brooks—Dean, Jordan College of the Arts

Lisa Brooks came to Butler in 1994 as a member of the violin faculty. Prior to her appointment as Dean of JCA, she served as Chair of the School of Music and Director of the Graduate Music Program. She held previous faculty appointments at Baylor University, the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, Messiah College, and Dickinson College. Brooks received both a bachelor's and master's degree in violin performance from West Virginia University. Her doctorate in violin performance is from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

As an orchestral musician, Dr. Brooks is currently principal second violinist of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and a frequent substitute musician with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra on both violin and viola. She presents the pre-concert lectures for the Ensemble Music Society, and is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans.

In 2013, Brooks received the inaugural Faculty Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership from Butler University, and in 2001, she received a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

Hilary Buttrick—Interim Dean, Lacy School of Business

Hilary Buttrick is the Interim Dean of the Lacy School of Business and an Associate Professor of Business Law. She is a former Associate Dean and a former Chair of the Department of Economics, Law, and Finance at Butler University. She teaches courses in Business Law and Business Ethics. Before joining Butler’s faculty in 2012, Ms. Buttrick practiced law at Ice Miller LLP where she specialized in business litigation, product liability defense, franchisor-franchisee disputes, and complex commercial cases, including insurance coverage disputes. She also regularly counseled clients on litigation avoidance strategies. Ms. Buttrick graduated summa cum laude from DePauw University in 1999 and obtained her J.D. summa cum laude from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2002.

Jay Howard

Jay Howard—Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Since 2010, Jay Howard has served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of sociology at Butler University. Previously, he held various leadership positions at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC), including interim vice chancellor and dean and head of the Division of Liberal Arts. Howard earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Indiana University South Bend in 1988, and both his master's degree (1990) and doctorate (1992) in sociology from the University of Notre Dame. Howard's research interests range from the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to religion and popular culture. His work has been in numerous publications, and he has co-authored several books, including Apostles of Rock: The Splintered World of Contemporary Christian Music (University Press of Kentucky, 1999), which was named a 2000 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title. Howard is a Fellow of the P.A. Mack Center at Indiana University for Inquiry on Teaching and Learning, and has served in various capacities for other community and professional organizations.

Brooke Kandel-Cisco

Brooke Kandel-Cisco—Dean, College of Education

Brooke Kandel-Cisco started at Butler in 2009 as a faculty member and has served as Director of the Master of Science in Effective Teaching and Learning Program, Chair of COE Graduate Programs, and Interim Dean for the College of Education. She has taught courses in English as a second language (ESL) within the COE, worked closely with teachers in Washington Township schools’ ESL and Newcomer Programs, and is the Past President of the Indiana Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (INTESOL). She also served as a senior research associate at the Texas A&M University Education Research Center studying state education data,  a bilingual and ESL teacher in Houston, TX, and as an Immigrant Advocate for AmeriCorps. Her areas of specialization are culturally- and linguistically-sustaining practices, school-family-community engagement, ESL teacher professional development, and teacher leadership. 

Dean Kandel-Cisco earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Goshen College, a master’s degree in Bilingual and ESL Education from the University of Houston, and a doctorate in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University.

Julie Miller

Julie Miller—Dean of Libraries

Julie Miller joined Butler University as dean of libraries in 2012 with over 13 years of experience in academic library leadership. She is responsible for library policy, planning and assessment, resource allocation, and facilities. Butler University Provost Kathryn Morris added leadership for the Center for Academic Technology to Miller’s role in August 2014. In March 2015, Miller received the Butler University Woman of Distinction award for staff. Before joining the University, Miller served in leadership positions at Eastern Washington University and Western New Mexico University. Miller graduated from Ohio University with a PhD in English Language and Literature and from Kent State University with a master’s in Library Science. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Miami University. Miller is active in professional library associations including the Association of College & Research Libraries and the Library Leadership and Management Association as well as the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana consortium.

Bob Soltis

Bob Soltis—Dean, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Robert Soltis ’87 joined Butler University in 2016 after 24 years at Drake University, where he was the Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology. At Drake, Soltis served as Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical, and Administrative Sciences in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences from 2003–2012. He was involved in a variety of innovative projects, including leading efforts to renovate lab spaces and developing and implementing a new undergraduate degree in health sciences. In addition, he has been engaged in strategic planning and earned a reputation for being an excellent teacher, scholar, and collaborative, transparent leader. Prior to joining Drake, he was a Pharmacology Research Associate (PRAT Fellow) at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. At Butler, he oversees the University’s second-largest college, with 937 students. Soltis earned his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (cum laude) from Butler and his doctorate in Pharmacology/Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1991. 

Jon Sorenson

Jon Sorenson—Chair, Faculty Senate, and Professor of Computer Science

Jon Sorenson is a professor of computer science, with primary research expertise in the design and analysis of algorithms for problems in number theory, such as factoring large integers and testing for prime numbers.  His research often makes use of Big Dawg, Butler’s first cluster supercomputer, which was donated to Butler by Frank Levinson.  Recently, Jon has published papers with Butler colleagues Ankur Gupta (computer science), Jonathan Webster (mathematics), and his daughter Brianna Sorenson, a May 2020 Butler graduate.  In the summer of 2020, Jon finished a 15-year term as department chair, overseeing a growth from roughly 35 students in 2005 to over 130 in 2019.  In addition to teaching a wide variety of courses in computer science, he taught mathematics courses in the past, and he occasionally teaches an honors course on Alan Turing.

Elise Edwards

Elise Edwards—Vice Chair, Faculty Senate, and Professor of Anthropology

Elise Edwards is a Professor of Anthropology in the Department of History and Anthropology. Edwards completed her BA in International Studies at Stanford University (1991), and her MA and PhD in Anthropology at the University of Michigan (2003). Her research focuses primarily on the worlds of soccer—from the professional ranks to amateur levels—in contemporary Japan and the ways the sport intersects with and shapes social, political, and economic realities in the country. More recently, she has spent time researching and writing about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (now scheduled for summer 2021). In addition to teaching a range of courses about Japan and East Asia, Edwards regularly teaches courses about museum studies, anthropological methods and theory, and science and technology studies. She is an affiliate faculty member in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; International Studies; and the Science, Technology, and Environmental Studies programs at Butler. Edwards both played and coached soccer in Japan’s professional “L-League” in the mid-1990s and was the goalkeeping coach with Butler University’s women’s soccer team for 13 years.