• Donnell Butler
Senior Associate Dean for Planning and Analysis of Student Outcomes



Office: OSS


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 activities that improve student access, transition, and success. Before F&M, he directed research and development of background survey questionnaires for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) at Educational Testing Services (ETS). Previously, he served as: a joint American Education Research Association (AERA) and ETS post-doctoral fellow working primarily on the NSF-ITEST funded College Ambition Program at Michigan State University; project director in Princeton University’s Office of Population Research for the Ford Foundation-supported Campus Life in America Student Survey; evaluation specialist for the Princeton University Preparatory Program; coordinator of the Goldman Sachs Foundation-supported Opening Doors and Paving the Way Forum for increasing college access and success for talented low-income students; senior policy research analyst at APPRISE Incorporated; senior business advisory services professional at Ernst & Young; and intern with the White House's Office of Communications Research. He earned his B.A. in business administration and sociology from F&M and his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.

Announcement and Description of Role at F&M

Announcement and Description of Pahara Aspen Education Fellowship

Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellow Profile

Alexander Monelli's F&M Alumni Spotlight: Donnell Butler '95


Public Features of Efforts at F&M:


Ph.D. Princeton University, Sociology, 2009


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 
  • Research, Evaluation, & Assessment in Schools 


  • Education
  • 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

2014. Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship: Cohort 9

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.


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.