Butler-Purry to join Research and Graduate Studies division

Dr. Karen Butler-Purry, who has held increasingly key faculty and administrative positions at Texas A&M since 1994, has been named the university's associate vice president for graduate studies, heading the office that serves more than 9,000 students at the master's and doctoral levels and involves more than 2,000 graduate faculty.  Her appointment is effective July 12. She formerly served as assistant dean for graduate programs in the Dwight Look College of Engineering and is currently associate department head and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering."I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Butler-Purry to our leadership team," Dr. Jeffrey R. Seemann, the university's vice president for research and graduate studies, said in announcing her appointment. "The Office of Graduate Studies and the entire Texas A&M community will benefit tremendously from her experiences as a graduate dean, chair of the graduate instruction committee, associate department head, and graduate faculty member in the Dwight Look College of Engineering. Dr. Butler-Purry has broad support across campus and brings numerous successes and substantial experience as both a researcher and graduate education leader to our Division."Butler-Purry has significant administrative experience at the department, college and university levels, as well as in her active involvement in professional societies. Butler-Purry joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1994 and developed a successful research program that has received more than $4 million in funding. Additionally, she secured more than $8.8 million in fellowship or education program funding and directed several of those programs. Butler-Purry serves as a project director for a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site program at Texas A&M, which includes 10 electrical and computer engineering faculty mentors centered on the topic of Electrical and Computer Engineering Applications to Homeland Security. She also serves as project director and co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundation-funded Texas A&M University System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program, an alliance of Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, which focuses on increasing underrepresented minority student graduates in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields."I am extremely excited about the opportunity to bring my various experiences with graduate education to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies team. The next few years will bring exciting new opportunities and challenges as the University puts renewed focus on the Vision 2020 imperative to strengthen our graduate programs," Butler-Purry said.The associate vice president for graduate studies is responsible for the leadership of the Office of Graduate Studies and manages a $26 million budget, as well as more than 30 professional staff members. The Office provides services to more than 9,000 graduate students and more than 2,000 graduate faculty across the Texas A&M campus.The associate vice president for graduate studies will take a leading role in raising the profile and supporting achievements of graduate programs at Texas A&M consistent with aspirations expressed in Vision 2020 and the Academic Master Plan to elevate the programs to world-class status and competitiveness. Butler-Purry will also work closely with other members of the Division and the campus community to foster the development of successful interdisciplinary degree programs that are well integrated with colleges and academic departments at Texas A&M."Dr. Butler-Purry brings a record of distinction in her discipline as well as her administrative experience in support of graduate programs of the colleges and services for graduate students," said Dr. Karan L. Watson, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.  "She has availed herself to the comprehensive nature of our university during her time at Texas A&M and willingly given her time and energies to help further our efforts on a number of issues.  I look forward to her leadership of the vital arena of graduate studies."Additionally, Butler-Purry will help to develop and build key relationships across The Texas A&M University System, as well as working to grow the graduate programs to meet the needs of the state, nation and the world in the 21st century. She will also focus on other areas of importance such as enhancing post-doc opportunities, cultivating connections with the public and private sectors, increasing opportunities for graduate training grants, and broadening graduate fellowship opportunities for students at Texas A&M.Butler-Purry earned her bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Southern University at Baton Rouge, her master's degree in electrical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and her doctorate in electrical engineering from Howard University in Washington, D.C. http://rgs.tamu.edu/news/dr.-karen-butler-purry-to-join-the-division-of-research-and-graduate-studies