Kathryn Morris, who has served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs since January, has been named to the position full time, Butler University President James M. Danko announced today.
Morris, who chaired Butler’s Psychology Department from 2007-2011, will collaborate with the deans, faculty, and Butler leadership team to advance the strategic vision and the academic agenda for Butler, ensuring that the University continues to strive for increasingly higher levels of excellence, effectiveness, and recognition.
“Kate has done an exceptional job in assuming a challenging position and situation,” Danko said. “An important factor for me in making this decision is Kate’s familiarity with Butler and her unrelenting support for the best interests of our faculty, staff, and students. Such qualities are critical to managing our academic affairs.”
Morris earned her Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College and her Master of Arts and doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. Her areas of expertise include social psychology, psychology of gender, methodology, and statistics.
Morris joined the Butler faculty in 1996. She has received numerous honors and awards since, including the Outstanding Faculty Award in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In addition, she is a charter member and the first president of Butler’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In 2004, she was selected by the graduating students to serve as the faculty commencement speaker.
She said her goals have been, and continue to be, “a firm commitment to quality educational experiences for the students and positive workplace experiences for the faculty and staff.”
“Historically, everything I’ve tried to do in my professional career has been tied to those two things,” Morris said. “We’ll continue to emphasize President Danko’s strategy of working closely with the deans and faculty for the development of new program ideas, and we will continue to think about ways our additional programs may need support and resources to continue to grow.”
In 2010, Morris was awarded a $108,000 National Science Foundation grant to study factors that affect whether people confront prejudice when they witness it. She has taught Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychology of Gender, Experimental Psychology, Research Methods & Statistics, Advanced Seminar in Social Psychology, and Honors Colloquium.
Within her professional organizations (the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology), Morris has done considerable work to develop and improve mentoring programs, empower teachers, and develop collaborations among teachers.
Morris said her year as interim provost helped her learn more about the work that faculty, students, and staff are doing across the University.
“I wanted to be provost because of my love for the institution and the belief in what we’re doing,” she said. “It’s the belief in the high-quality education that we deliver. It’s the belief in the people who make up our faculty and staff. It’s the belief in our students and how special they are—and I really do think they’re special. So I wanted to serve in whatever way I could.”