Will Lead New Student Success and Diversity Initiatives at Saint Rose
Dr. Shai L. Butler, Vice President for Student Success and Engagement
ALBANY (January 18, 2017) — The College of Saint Rose announced the appointment of Dr. Shai L. Butler of Schenectady as Vice President for Student Success and Engagement.
In her new role, Butler will work across multiple divisions to improve the College’s retention and graduation rates as set forth in its Strategic Plan. She will oversee the College’s Center for Student Success, which includes the Academic Opportunity Experience, Academic Success Center, Intercultural Leadership and First-year Programs, as well as Spiritual Life and other initiatives that pertain to the success of students and alumni.
Butler also will continue as the College’s chief diversity officer, a position she has held since joining Saint Rose in 2007. In that capacity, she leads the development and implementation of strategic plans for diversity, develops education and training programs for faculty, administrators and staff, and works with College administrators to develop initiatives to increase recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students of historically underrepresented groups.
A native of Brooklyn, Butler holds a doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University in Boston, a master’s degree in educational administration and policy studies and a bachelor’s degree in English, both from the University at Albany.
“I am so pleased that Shai will lead and coordinate our effort to ensure that each of our students succeeds. Widely respected in the field and in the Capital Region, Shai brings to this new position a wealth of professional experience that will serve as a solid base for developing new initiatives that will shape and empower graduates for life,” said Saint Rose President Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco.
Prior to coming to Saint Rose, Butler was assistant director/intercultural learning, women and gender initiatives at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Butler also served as assistant director of residential life at the University at Albany. While at UAlbany, Butler chaired the university’s Commission on Diversity and Affirmative Action, served on the Diversity Task Force, chaired the Black Faculty and Professional Staff Organization and co-chaired the Council of Women’s Groups.
Recipient of numerous awards throughout her career, Butler has volunteered internationally with AIDS orphans and women living in both rural and urban areas of South Africa. Presently, she serves on the Albany steering committee for President Obama’s White House Initiative for My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper. Her commitment to educational access for low-income students led to a 2014 invitation to the White House, where she was one of 60 educators and policymakers brought together for a national dialogue on increasing the number of youth and traditional college-aged students of color majoring in science, technology, engineering and math. Butler has mentored more than 30 high school and undergraduate students during her career in education.
Butler is a recipient of the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society’s Women in Public Service Award, an alumna of the National African American Women’s Leadership Institute, and has served as a professional intern for the SUNY Center for International Development.
Butler and her husband Odo have a daughter, Chantelle, and two sons, Koa and Nori.