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Dean of the College of Communication

Butler University
Indiana, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Sep 30, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Communications, Media Studies, Other Communications, Speech & Rhetoric, Administrative, Deans, Executive, Other Executive
Employment Type
Full Time
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Butler University invites nominations and applications for a visionary, student‐centered leader to serve as Dean of the College of Communication. The Dean reports to the Provost and provides strategic leadership for the College.

The College of Communication

The College of Communication prepares students for success in the digital age and in a global society. The curricular structure reflects the centrality of communication as a basic human right in society. Students learn to analyze, synthesize, speak, write, and create meaningful, socially responsible messages across dynamic communication contexts and media platforms. The College’s innovative, experiential approach to discipline-based education ensures that graduates can excel in their chosen professions or postgraduate study. The strong grounding in liberal arts ensures that graduates are well prepared for civic engagement and to provide leadership in their careers and communities. From a communications-study perspective, Indianapolis offers a compelling array of advantages, including being in a top-15 media market with a significant sports presence and the communications opportunities (part-time jobs, internships, clinical observations, etc.) that this offers. In addition, the University offers elements of a large public university in an intimate residential setting.

The College was established in 2010 and has grown to more than 530 undergraduate students in a variety of communication majors and serves more than 200 undergraduate minors. The college houses a graduate degree and graduate certificate program in strategic communication. The College is home to 40 faculty, along with ~12 industry professionals who serve as contingent faculty, and five staff members. The Dean oversees a budget of approximately $3.7 million in addition to college endowment and gift accounts.

Following is a list of undergraduate programs by department/School:

Positions on the leadership team reporting to the Dean include:
  • Associate Dean
  • Chair, Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • Chair, Communication & Media Studies
  • Director, Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media
  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Chair, Strategic Communication
  • Assistant to the Dean
  • Multimedia Coordinator
  • Technical Services Coordinator
  • Internship Director
The University

Founded in 1855 by abolitionists on the principles of diversity, equality, and inclusion, Butler admitted women and people of color on an equal basis with white males, a radical stance for the time. We seek an academic leader poised to continue this strong legacy of inclusivity.

Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,500 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 46 states and 24 countries. Butler emphasizes the Big Four for its undergraduate students:
  • Internships
  • Service Learning
  • Study Abroad
  • Undergraduate Research
All undergraduate students engage with the community through the Indianapolis Community Requirement, and 95% of Butler students will have participated in some form of internship, student teaching, clinical rotation, research, or service learning at graduation. This community‐centered immersion, coupled with classroom learning that nurtures critical thinking, effective communication, cooperative teamwork, and ethical decision making, prepares students for both professional success and to have lasting impact in their communities.

Our graduates enjoy significant success, as demonstrated by the University’s 99 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. Butler was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, and is included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

The Butler Strategic Direction

Butler University’s strategic direction, Butler Beyond, demonstrates a commitment to embracing and supporting learners of all life stages and backgrounds. Butler, known for its high quality undergraduate residential education, recognizes different learners have different needs and, therefore, may require different models of education. Butler’s strategic direction is focused on advancing three models of education—enhancing the traditional undergraduate model, growing and broadening its lifelong learning model, and developing a new, highly accessible and inclusive model. Building from an adult focused program portfolio and corporate relationships already established through Butler’s Executive Education division and Butler’s six Colleges, the University plans to dramatically expand offerings and delivery methods to support non-traditional learners, including alternative credentials, career-focused training, corporate education, and greater online degree and non-degree programs. Leveraging reputation, corporate and community networks and its Indianapolis location, Butler believes it can create a partnership model unlike any institution in Indiana to serve the talent and lifelong learning needs of not only the state but regional and national learners that desire high-quality adult and online options. The Lilly Endowment Inc. (LEI) Foundation believes in Butler’s ability to fulfill this mission as well, and recently awarded $10M to the University as part of the Endowment’s Charting The Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities (CTF) education initiative. The grant will help fund initiatives in the University’s Butler Beyond strategic direction.


Butler’s sustained enrollment growth over the past decade is significant. The University will welcome its third largest first-year incoming class this fall (1,238). Within the last five years, Butler has enrolled four of the five largest-ever first-year classes. Since 2013, applications to the University have increased 42% overall with a notable increase in out-of-state applicants (24%) and students of color (65%).


Butler’s Advancement operation is also growing tremendously. On May 31, 2022, Butler celebrated its largest and most successful philanthropic effort with the conclusion of Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University with contributions of more than $263.5 million. Gifts to the Butler Beyond campaign are advancing the University’s mission through new and enhanced campus infrastructure, an expanded scholarship endowment, and access to transformational new experiential learning opportunities and degree pathways for current and future Butler students.

Leadership President

Since becoming the 21st President of Butler University in 2011, James Danko has devoted himself to guiding Butler toward national recognition as a thought‐leader in transformative, student‐centered higher education. President Danko served as Dean of the Villanova School of Business and as Associate Dean at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. President Danko also taught entrepreneurship and served in leadership roles at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Babson College, and the University of Michigan. President Danko received his bachelor’s degree in religious studies from John Carroll University and his MBA from the University of Michigan.


Brooke Barnett joined Butler in 2019 as the Dean of the College of Communication and Professor of Communication, and began serving as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs on April 1, 2021. She was officially named Provost on March 15, 2022 concluding a national search. Brooke earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication Studies at Georgetown College. She earned her Master of Arts in Journalism and doctorate in Mass Communication with a concentration in Law and Visual Communication at IU-Bloomington. Prior to her arrival at Butler, Brooke’s career as a teacher and scholar spanned more than 25 years including at Elon serving nine years on the President’s senior cabinet, as Associate Provost for Academic and Inclusive Excellence, and as chair of the faculty governing body.

The Community

Indianapolis, the 13th largest city in the U.S., has raced ahead of its competition in recent years. From a business standpoint, the city is home to the NCAA, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, media trailblazer Emmis Communications, and has quickly become the Silicon Valley of the Midwest, with a growing tech community anchored by Salesforce. The city boasts more than 100 live performing art venues, including the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and The Lawn. The city’s downtown consists of six cultural enclaves, distinct neighborhoods all connected via the Cultural Trail, an eight mile urban biking/walking trail taking users to the front door of more than 300 restaurants and 250 museums. With professional sports franchises representing the NBA, WBNA, NFL, and minor league baseball, soccer, and hockey, live sports events are always on the horizon. Indy was recently named the “Most Underrated Food City in the Nation” by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine. Forbes helps showcase all there is to do and see in Indy. The Indianapolis International Airport has been named the best airport in North America six years in a row by Airports Council International, and offers more than 1,000 flights a week. Click and see why residents and visitors alike love Indy.


Responsibilities of the next Dean include, but are not limited to:
  • Providing strategic and visionary leadership across the diverse set of professional, social science, and humanities based programs represented in the College and charting/leading a bold path forward to ensure the College’s long-term success;
  • Engaging faculty, staff, students, and other constituents collaboratively concerning the mission, values, and future of the College;
  • Managing the budget of the College and identifying resources that will help maintain and further develop excellent programs;
  • Fostering a collegial, inclusive, and equitable atmosphere within the College;
  • Encouraging collaboration among departments within the College, between the College and University, and with partner organizations in Indianapolis;
  • Supporting student participation in experiential learning and internships that enhance the learning experience;
  • Promoting the College’s unique curricular and co-curricular opportunities;
  • Creating and sustaining an intentionally diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning and working environment among students, faculty, and staff that includes fostering a warm, welcoming atmosphere;
  • Enhancing the College’s commitment to internationalization of faculty, students, curriculum, and the student experience;
  • Working collaboratively with the University’s Enrollment Management Division to support recruitment efforts that help the College and University meet its enrollment goals;
  • Serving as the College’s key fundraiser, partnering with University Advancement to develop relationships and solicit funds with current and prospective donors, including alumni, friends, parents, corporations, and foundations; and
  • Working effectively with the University’s senior leadership team and being an advocate for both the College and the overall good of the institution.

The successful candidate should possess the following skills and qualifications:
  • An ability to shape a vision, think and plan strategically and execute plans at a high level;
  • An ability to work independently in leading and advancing the college;
  • Some combination of an advanced degree and significant professional experience or a doctorate and some professional experience;
  • Significant experience leading, managing, and mentoring colleagues;
  • A record of impactful scholarship and teaching;
  • A leadership style that is transparent and embraces shared governance;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and social justice
  • A commitment to advancing interdisciplinary collaboration and the ability to promote and support the wide range of disciplines within the College;
  • A track record of enhancing student success and learning outcomes;
  • Demonstrated experience developing and/or supporting experiential learning and internship opportunities for students;
  • Support for innovative partnerships and initiatives to enhance the visibility of the College;
  • Ability to contribute actively in recruitment activities and enrollment initiatives;
  • Prior work with the strategic planning process, including development and execution; ∙
  • Current knowledge of 21st century trends, challenges, and opportunities in the fields of communication and mass communication in a rapidly changing media world;
  • Demonstrated experience effectively managing resources;
  • Ability to identify resources that will help advance the mission of the College;
  • Experience working with external stakeholders, which may include alumni, donors, industry, government, and community partners;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; and
  • The ability to work effectively with members of the President’s Cabinet, the University’s Executive Council, the Provost’s Advisory Council, the Faculty Senate, and the Staff Assembly to enhance the overall quality of the institution.
Nomination and Application Process

The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. However, to assure the fullest consideration, candidates are encouraged to have complete applications submitted to BT Consulting Group as soon as possible. Requested application materials include a letter of interest; curriculum vitae; and the names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of at least five professional references. All applications, nominations, and inquiries will remain confidential. References will not be contacted until after the first screening of applications and then only after the applicant has given explicit permission. All application materials must be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

Please direct all applications, nominations, and inquiries for the position to the search firm assisting the University at the contact information below:

Robert Bonner or Scott Levine
BT Consulting Group
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
610-304-7097 or

Butler University is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive and equitable environment for all employees. We welcome applications from all individuals, regardless of age, gender, gender identity, sex, race, religion, color, disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, national origin, or any other legally protected category.

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