Donnell Butler is a Pahara-Aspen education fellow and the Senior Associate Dean for Planning and Analysis of Student Outcomes at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M). At F&M, Dr. Butler facilitates strategy, integration, and evaluation of college policies, programs, and initiatives aimed at increasing equity and positive outcomes for students. His research focuses on identifying, understanding, and enhancing individual characteristics and institutional actions that improve college student access, transition, and success. In over 15 years of education research and practice, his clients and employers have included the U.S. Department of Education, Educational Testing Service (ETS), and the National Science Foundation. He earned his B.A. in business administration and sociology from F&M and his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.
Public Features of Efforts at F&M:
Ph.D. Princeton University, Sociology, 2009
- Dissertation: Race, Segregation and Diversity in College: How Precollege Diversity Experiences Influence Students’ College Preferences, Behaviors, and Perceptions
- Committee: Marta Tienda (Chair), Thomas Espenshade, Douglas Massey
- Fields: Sociology of Education, Stratification and Inequality, Economic Sociology
B.A. Franklin & Marshall College, Business Administration (Accounting) and Sociology, 1995
- Williamson Medalist, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- Postsecondary Education (College Access, Transition, and Success)
- Educational Policy & Politics
- Educational Effectiveness: Research, Evaluation, & Assessment
- Sociological Practice and Public Sociology
- Stratification and Inequality
- Research Methods
"I work to empower individuals and communities to better themselves and the rest of humanity through education and civic engagement. I engage and encourage others to obtain and exchange empirical as well as experiential evidence that can be used to improve human capital development in the United States and beyond." - Donnell Butler
Grants & Awards
2002. Princeton Woodrow Wilson Scholars Fellowship Prize, 2002-2003
2002. American Sociological Association, Race, Gender, and Class Section Graduate Student Paper Award
2002. Marvin Bressler Graduate Student Teaching Award, Princeton University
1998. National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Award, 1998-2001
2016. Butler, Donnell. “College Access and Opportunity” Chapter 8 in The Convergence of K-12 and Higher Education: Policies and Programs in a Changing Era, edited by Christopher P. Loss and Patrick J. McGuinn. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
2011. Christensen, Kathleen; Schneider, Barbara and Donnell Butler. "Families with School-Age Children." The Future of Children 21(2): 69-90.
2010. Butler, Donnell. "Ethno-Racial Composition and College Preference: Revisiting the Perpetuation of Segregation Hypothesis." The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 627(1): 36-58.
2008. Klugman, Jason and Donnell Butler. "Opening Doors and Paving the Way: Increasing College Access and Success for Talented Low-Income Students." [White Paper]. New York: The Goldman Sachs Foundation.URL: http://www.princeton.edu/~tprep/pupp/PUPP_GSF_White_Paper_Opening_Doors_02-09.
2004. Butler, Donnell. "When Race Matters: The Influence of Sex and Socioeconomic Status on Perceived Racial and Ethnic Variation in College Enrollment." Race, Gender & Class 11(3): 94-111.
2003. Butler, Donnell. "Heroes and Saviors Need Not Apply." Pp. 151-157 in Be the Dream, Edited by Gary Simons. New York: Workman Publishing Company.
2000. Butler, Donnell. "Studies of Artists: An Annotated Directory." Working Paper # 12 of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Princeton University.
2017. “Institutional Actions to Improve Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.” Invited lecture at the Speyer Legacy School; New York, NY; August 28, 2017.
2017. “Own the College: College Success Strategies for Underrepresented Students.” Webinar for the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA); May 9, 2017.
2017. “College for All: Yes, No, and Charting a Third Way” Presentation with David J. Lewis at the 2016 EdLoC National Convening; Chicago, IL; April 28, 2017.
2017. “Transforming Your Institution for Inclusive Excellence.” American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) Workshop with Amy Mulnix at the 2017 Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting; San Francisco, CA; January 25, 2017.
2016. “Equity and Excellence in American Education: Setting the National Context for Mentoring College Students.” Presentation at the 2016 Cooperman College Scholars Mentor Orientation and Training; Newark, NJ; August 7, 2016.
2016. “Bold Ideas for Better Serving First Generation Students.” Panel presentation at the 2016 KIPP School Summit; Atlanta, GA; July 25, 2016.
2016. “The 21st Century Liberal Arts Education: Transforming Practice for Inclusive Excellence.” Workshop with Amy Mulnix at American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) and The Phi Beta Kappa Society (PBK) Catching the Wave: Energy and Renewal in Liberal Arts Education; Milwaukee, WI; June 25, 2016.
2016. “What It Takes to Get Students to and through College.” Presentation at the 2016 EdLoC National Convening; Dallas, TX; April 28, 20162016. “Diversity and Demographic Trends: Impacts on Access, Persistence, and Inclusion Initiatives at Selective Liberal Arts Colleges.” Panel presentation at the 2016 Consortium on High Achievement and Success (CHAS) Winter Representatives Meeting; Hartford, CT; January 27, 2016.
2015. “What They Don’t Know: Reaching Underserved Students.” Panel presentation at the 2015 National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Annual Meeting; San Diego, CA; October 3, 2015.
2015. “Expanding the Student Cohort Model: New Initiatives to Support Inclusive Excellence.” Panel presentation at the 2015 Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting; Washington, D.C.; January 22, 2015.
2014. “A Standards-Based Approach to Metacognitive (Non-Cognitive) Skills for College Success: Distilling Existing Research.” Panel presentation at the 2014 National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Annual Meeting; Indianapolis, IN; September 19, 2014.
2013. “Equity and Excellence in Education.” Speaker presentation at the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) Northeast Regional Workshop; Lancaster, PA; June 13, 2013.
2010. “Ethnoracial Group Membership and Comfort on Campus.” Paper presentation at the 2010 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA; August 17, 2010.
2010. “Precollege Ethnoracial Diversity Experiences and Interracial Interactions in College.” Paper presentation at the 2010 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA; August 15, 2010.
2009. “From Segregation to Integration: Precollege Ethnoracial Diversity Experiences and Social Integration in College.” Paper presentation at the 2009 Sociology of Education Association Annual Meeting; Monterey, CA; February 21, 2009.
2009. “Carefully Taught: The Effect of Precollege Ethnoracial Diversity Experiences on Interracial Interactions in College.” Paper presentation at the 2009 Eastern Sociological Association Annual Meeting; Baltimore, MD; March 21, 2009.
2008. “Using Campus Life Research Data to Transform Institutional Policies and Practices.” Presentation with John Ford, Casandra Harper, Jennifer Keup, Carolyn Livingston, and Daniel Teodorescu at the Annual Convention of the American College Professionals Association; Atlanta, GA; April 1, 2008.
2002. “When Race Matters: Racial Variation in College Enrollment Revisited.” Paper presentation at the 2002 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting; Chicago, IL; August 2002. Paper awarded 2002 Race, Gender, and Class Section Graduate Student Paper Prize.
2001. “Diversity in the Classroom.” Seminar presentation at Princeton University's Harold W. McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning; Princeton, NJ; September 6, 2001.
1997. “Race Relations on Predominately White College Campuses in the 1990s: A Longitudinal Case Study.” Co-authored paper presentation by Dr. Katherine McClelland, Ph.D. at the 1997 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting; Toronto, ON, Canada; August 1997.