KSU chief diversity officer recognized by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

Sylvia Carey-Butler
Sylvia Carey-Butler

Sylvia Carey-Butler named one of the 35 outstanding women in the U.S.

KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 19, 2020) — Kennesaw State University’s Chief Diversity Officer Sylvia Carey-Butler has been named one of the 35 outstanding women in the U.S. by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education’s March issue for her contributions to higher education.

Timed to coincide with Women’s History Month, the 2020 class of leading women in higher education highlights women who have made a difference in the academy by tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges, exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills and making a positive difference in their respective communities.

Carey-Butler, who joined Kennesaw State as chief diversity officer in July, is the only Georgian on the list. She is responsible for overseeing the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and leading the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“This recognition is a testament to Dr. Carey-Butler’s expertise and her commitment to creating an inclusive campus community where students, faculty and staff feel supported and welcome,” said Kennesaw State President Pamela Whitten. “Since joining KSU, Dr. Carey-Butler has demonstrated her ability as a leader and has been a staunch supporter of the University’s student-centric mission.”

As CDO, Carey-Butler is leading Kennesaw State’s initiative to develop a long-term diversity and inclusion action plan and establish clear, meaningful and measurable goals and metrics. She also is developing strategies and programs focused on the successful recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education as one of those included in the 2020 class of leading women in higher education,” said Carey-Butler. “This is a powerful group of women who share a common goal to broaden perspectives around diversity and inclusion among the university community and its strategic partners.”

Prior to joining Kennesaw State, Carey-Butler served as assistant chancellor for academic support of inclusive excellence at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. The former interim executive director of the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Institute for Capacity Building and Director of UNCF’s Enrollment Management Program, Carey-Butler has held numerous positions in higher education in New York state.

She also served as assistant provost and dean of honors at Dillard University in New Orleans and associate dean of studies at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

Carey-Butler has researched and presented extensively on student recruitment and retention in higher education, African American women administrators in the academy and African American males in higher education. She designed the diversity and inclusion curriculum for the American Council on Education’s Fellows program and is the former chair of the Oshkosh Area Community Food Pantry and the Oshkosh Housing Authority. 

She received a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Vanderbilt University, and an M.A. in Social Science with an emphasis in Counseling from Binghamton University.

– Robert S. Godlewski


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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