New dean is ready to plant roots at Lewis University

Parker Loizon, Reporter

Photo by David Olsen.
Dean Ryan D. Butt and Director of Admissions Michele Ryan discuss the events of this week.

This past July, Lewis’ College of Business and Graduate School of Management gained a new dean, Ryan D. Butt.

Dean Butt had previously held the same position at Lourdes University’s College of Business and Leadership for five years.  During his time there, Butt led the charge in developing study abroad programs as well as growing the university’s advisory council.

Like new students, Dean Butt also completed his first few weeks this fall.  He discussed what a typical day as dean has been so far.

“The first few weeks can be slow at times, while at other times [there’s] not a moment to sit down and catch one’s breath,” Dean Butt said, adding that his time spent talking to colleagues in other departments has been richly rewarding, claiming that he has learned so much about the amazing community the university has built.

The new dean was also excited to discuss just why Lewis was a good fit as well as some of his plans for the College of Business and the connection he already has to Illinois.

“My wife is originally from the Chicago area,” said Butt while discussing his family. “We wanted to land somewhere soon and begin to grow some roots in a community.  So when the opportunity arose for this position, I did my research on Lewis University and felt that it had the major elements that I desired within a new institution.”

Dean Butt also discussed how he enjoys the university’s diverse student population, strong academic programs and the faith-based environment.

Not only does Dean Butt love his job, but also just generally appreciates the world around him.

“I love to travel.  I’ve been to 49 states,” Butt said. He also discussed how his love of travel does not carry over to the flying aspects of travel. If he is not traveling or following his professional career path, one can find Butt enjoying nature. “I love the outdoors, and have enjoyed the world around us from backpacking for weeks at a time in several western United States mountain ranges,” Butt said.

Dean Butt has shown that he is ready to work for the students and faculty of Lewis to make it a better place. With a strong work ethic and willingness to help, Butt is ready to prove himself in the College of Business. The university welcomes him with open arms and is excited to see what more is in store under his leadership.

Dean Butt finished with one more anecdote from his childhood, discussing how Lewis University may have always been a good fit. He says “as a child, I wanted to be a pilot.  Now that I’m at Lewis, maybe I will get the chance to realize one of my childhood dreams and become a Flyer.”


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