P. Barry Butler was appointed provost of The University of Iowa in May of 2011, after serving as interim provost since October 2010. Prior to his appointment, Butler was dean of the UI College of Engineering, where he holds the rank of full professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979 and 1981, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1984, also from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1984.
Butler has worked as a visiting research fellow for the U.S. Navy and Sandia National Laboratories and as a visiting faculty member at Université de Provence in Marseille, France. He is active in a number of aerospace-related instructional and research activities at UI. He currently serves on the boards of several state and national technology-based organizations committed to economic growth and the advancement of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, including the American Wind Energy Association, for which he also serves as research committee co-chair. He serves as the Governor's delegate to the Aerospace States Association. Butler is an active participant in Iowa’s STEM Initiative, and has been a strong advocate for working with industry, community colleges, and Iowa’s K-12 educators to promote STEM education.