Todd Butler

ButlerTodd Butler joined SDSU in July 2024 as the dean of the College of Arts and Letters. Previously, he served as the dean of Arts and Sciences at Washington State University, where he also held positions as associate dean for faculty, founding director of the Center for Arts and Humanities, and chair of the Department of English.

As a higher education leader, Butler brings to SDSU extensive experience in program development; fundraising; and faculty, student, and curricular development. During his tenure at WSU, his college became the first to require coursework in the university’s new equity and social justice core — work supported in part by the hiring of the college’s first associate dean for equity and outreach. A firm believer in purposeful community collaboration, Butler led the redesign of the college’s tenure and promotion standards to support interdisciplinary and publicly engaged research, pairing this work with initiatives that directly connected students with major Seattle-based private employers, nonprofits, and governmental agencies. Butler also focused on student success more broadly, reducing opportunity gaps across the college’s core introductory courses and developing the university’s first college-based, academically-oriented mental health strategy to sustain students and those who support them.

As a professor of English with a concentration in early modern English literature, Butler pursued a highly interdisciplinary program of research and teaching that combined literature, law, and political and environmental theory. He has published two books and more than 25 articles, and has been an invited speaker at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), the University of Toronto, the University of Iowa, and the Newberry Library in Chicago.

He has secured research and program funding from the Spencer Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, using the latter to co-create WSU’s Publicly Engaged Fellows program for graduate students in the arts and humanities. He has also served as the national president of the Association of Departments of English, the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) division for institutional effectiveness, as well as the past chair of law and literature divisions in both the MLA and the Renaissance Society of America.