“I sense a strong feeling of family, loyalty and camaraderie on this campus that I find refreshing,” said P. Barry Butler, the newly named president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at a recent open house on campus.
Having earlier spent several hours meeting with campus administrators, faculty, staff and students at the ERAU Prescott campus, Butler and his wife, Audrey, met even more community members following his introduction by ERAU-Prescott Chancellor Frank Ayers.
Ayers introduced Butler, who had been an executive vice president and provost at the University of Iowa, as incoming sixth president of the world’s largest fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace. Butler officially became president on March 13.
Pledging to provide full support for programmatic growth and development at all the ERAU campuses – Prescott; Daytona Beach, Florida; and Worldwide – Butler said, “The opportunities for new and rewarding careers in our many disciplines are diverse. I feel I am blessed to be joining a special university, and I want everyone to know that.”
He continued, “It was refreshing to walk around the campus and spend time with students, faculty and staff – just casual visits. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that there’s real pride on this campus. I sense a passion for the programs, especially those which are on the cutting edge in our university.”
“I think that President Butler can help us as we move into more funded research, for he has a fairly strong background in that,” said Ayers. “We’re moving ahead here in Prescott with some pretty dramatic programs – for example, our new STEM building and programs.”
Ayers also noted that Prescott campus had experienced almost 40 percent growth in the past four years.
“I’m anticipating the same kind of support from Dr. Butler that I had from our interim president, Dr. Karen Holbrook, and everything he shared with me indicates that is going to happen,” Ayers said.
Educated as a professor of engineering, Butler had been at the University of Iowa for 33 years.
“I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time on the Prescott campus and getting to know the university and the community,” the new president said. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
Newly named ERAU President P. Barry Butler and his wife, Audrey, (left) were greeted by ERAU-Prescott Chancellor Frank Ayers and his wife, Debbie, when the Butlers visited Prescott to tour campus and meet the community. Butler assumed the presidency on March 13. His office will be at the ERAU campus in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Photo by Ray Newton