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New associate dean in the College of Education

The College of Education at the University of Utah is pleased to announce that Dr. Kirsten Butcher, professor and program director of Instructional Design and Education Technology (IDET) in the Department of Educational Psychology, has been appointed associate dean for faculty and student affairs in effective July 1, 2023.

She brings a wealth of experience and expertise in cognitive science, psychology, and educational technology to this leadership position. Butcher’s service to faculty colleagues, students, and to the community will inform her new role, further solidifying the college’s commitment to excellence in faculty and student support.

Kirsten Butcher

Butcher earned a Ph.D. in cognitive science and psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her academic background includes postdoctoral research fellowships at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Visualization and Enabling Technologies Section) and the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (a joint appointment in the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center and the Carnegie Mellon University Human Computer Interaction Institute). She has published over 30 articles and chapters and more than 40 conference proceedings/papers. Her expertise and insights have made her a sought-after speaker and collaborator in the field.

Since joining the Educational Psychology faculty in 2008, Dr. Butcher has made substantial contributions to instructional design and educational technology. She has served as director of IDET since 2014. Her research primarily focuses on comprehension and learning with multimedia and instructional technology, the design and development of interactive learning systems and online instruction, and user experience design in educational technology. She has secured over $3.5 million in grants from national funding agencies and centers, demonstrating her exceptional ability to attract and manage research funding.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve our outstanding faculty and students in this role,” said Dr. Butcher. “I will seek to facilitate new opportunities and support our continued growth by removing barriers, resolving challenges, and embracing strategic innovation. I am committed to finding proactive, reflective, and creative solutions that enhance the learning experience for all.”

Known for her passion for the College of Education and its people, Dr. Butcher envisions a service-oriented leadership style that prioritizes authenticity, communication, empathy, and empowerment for all. “Her strong commitment to student success and faculty development makes her an ideal leader for the role of associate dean for faculty and student affairs,” said Dean Frankie Santos Laanan.

Under her leadership, the college is poised to advance the work of faculty and to foster student support and success.