State Universities Civil Service System
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Dr. John Butler

MB Member
Northern Illinois University
Appointed: 9/24/2018

Professional Experience

  • Director of Communication and Strategy and Assistant Fund Administrator, Painters District Council No. 30 Health & Welfare, Pension and affiliated funds.
  • Butler & Anderson, LLC (2008-2015).
  • Director of Strategic Communication and Research Initiatives, Ehrhardt Foundation (2005-2008).
  • Assistant Professor and Director of Forensics (speech and debate), Department of Communication, Northern Illinois University (1998-2005).

Leadership and Public Service

  • Member of NIU Board of Trustees since December 2007; served as Board Chair (2013-2015; 2017); Board Vice Chair (2009-2011; 2015-2017); Chair of Finance, Facilities and Operations Committee (2015-2017); and Chair of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Personnel Committee (2009-2011).
  • Member, Board of Directors, Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture, Chicago (since 2014).
  • Presenter and participant, numerous disciplinary conference presentations at the National Communication Association Annual Conference and other disciplinary conferences (since 1994).
  • As NIU Assistant Professor, served as the academic advisor for seven master’s candidates and as committee member for eighteen master’s candidates; coordinated numerous public forums and debates on issues of local community concern; served on the President’s Commission on Sexual Orientation, Provost’s Task Force on Multicultural Curriculum Transformation, and numerous search committees.
  • Pro bono consulting in strategic communication for organizations involved in workforce development, child care, food distribution, litigation, grass-roots civil rights advocacy, and municipal elections.
  • Served two terms as Student Regent, Illinois Board of Regents, 1992-1994.
  • Member and served as president of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Theta Eta Chapter, NIU, 1989-1992.


  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh,Department of Rhetoric and Communication, Emphasis: Public Argument.
  • M.A., Northern Illinois University, Department of Communication, Emphasis: Rhetorical Studies.
  • B.A., Northern Illinois University, Department of Political Science,