President Jackie Vietti to Retire from Butler Community College


Butler’s first female president will leave her post at year-end.

El Dorado, Kan. – After 17 years of leading Butler Community College through unprecedented collaboration and strategic innovation, President Dr. Jackie Vietti announced that she will retire at the end of 2012. Vietti, who became one of the most beloved and respected leaders in Butler’s history, is leaving the institution she has fostered a stellar reputation for since 1995.

Characteristic of the Butler family culture she championed, President Vietti made the announcement to a gathering of nearly 500 faculty and staff during Butler’s Fall Institutional Development Day on Tuesday afternoon. Later, at their monthly meeting, the Board of Trustees implemented Butler’s presidential succession plan, appointing Dr. Karla Fisher, Butler Community College VP of academics, as interim president. Vietti’s retirement will be effective Dec. 31, 2012.

Vietti served as Butler’s fourth president, since the transition from dean to president in 1963, and the first female to serve at its top post.

“It has been my most rewarding professional as well as personal experience to serve as the president of Butler for the past seventeen years,” said Vietti. “I have been afforded the opportunity to work beside truly exceptional individuals inside and outside the college, all of whom have invested selfless time, energy and thought in making our corner of the world a better place.” 

Credited with championing a new era of collaboration, Vietti’s enthusiastic approach to collective solutions has built shared and contagious visions, creating results that no one organization could ever have accomplished on its own.

One of the more recent and most defining examples of Vietti’s collaborative leadership came with this fall’s opening of the $12 million BG Products Veterans Sports Complex. This unique project, initiated during an uncertain economy, brought together three equal partners who worked together to create a true community facility. Vietti also spearheaded Butler’s engagement in the Achieve Kansas initiative, a partnership that involves 16 institutions of higher education in our region with the common goal of increasing post-secondary certificate/degree completion rates. 

Under her leadership, defined by strategic planning, Butler initiated a new strategic framework based upon four stakeholder-driven priorities; developed and implemented organizational performance management and continuous improvement through participation in the Higher Learning Commission Academic Quality Improvement Program; and initiated the assessment of 21st century general education outcomes and workplace skills for Butler students.

Vietti’s most profound legacy will likely come through the thousands of students and alumni for whom she believed could achieve a better life through higher education. Creating multiple venues for access, Vietti advanced Butler’s mission to develop responsible, involved lifelong learners from expanded virtual learning programs to the Early College Health Sciences Academy at Rose Hill High School.

Vietti spurred dramatic enrollment growth during her tenure, recording a 21 percent increase from the time she started to Butler’s highest enrollment of 10,116 students in fall 2010.

Vietti’s servant leadership stems from her firm belief that each individual has the potential to add value to an organization and a strong commitment to treat each person she encountered with dignity and respect.

“Butler is the college it is today because of the steadfast people who have believed and invested in its pure learning power,” said Vietti. “What an honor and privilege it has been for me to work beside the individuals who have made Butler and our region a better place for all.”

Recognizing Vietti’s visionary leadership, transformative community influence and her uncompromising student commitment, Dr. Greg Joyce, Board of Trustees Chair, said it will be hard to imagine a Butler without Dr. Vietti.

“The culture of quality that exists here today has been developed under her inspiring leadership,” said Joyce. “She will be remembered, however, every time we look around and see all that has been accomplished during her time here. I don’t know if there’s another college administrator out there like her, but we’re going to make every effort to find him or her.”

Vietti realized many major strategic accomplishments during her time at Butler. Highlights include the completion of several capital projects, including a new Andover campus student union, a new welcome center in El Dorado, and an additional 192-bed student-housing complex; the recent grand opening of the Butler Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts; conversion of 120,000 square foot space into general and technical education classrooms within a building in the Andover Industrial Park; development and implementation of a $6 million technology plan; and initiation of a mutual gains collective bargaining process with the faculty association.

“People likely will wonder what I’m going to do with my newly found time,” said Vietti. “My first response is that I’ll read some very good books over fine Coca Dolce and Sweet 120 chocolate. My second is that I’ll continue to invest time and energy in several of the great causes that are in play in our region. I also see much more Nonie (Italian for grandmother) time in my future.

“I have long said that you never really leave Butler. Certainly that is true in my case, as I always will bleed purple and remain committed to helping the college and the broader community in any way I can.”



5 thoughts on “President Jackie Vietti to Retire from Butler Community College

  1. Lucus Drake says:

    Dr. Vietti, I would like to say first and foremost, thank you for the time you have given to Butler. I knew that in the short time I have known you and had the joy of working with you on a few committee’s and with Phi Theta Kappa, I can say that you have a way of helping others and letting students know that you are there for them. I appreciate that you see each and every student as more then just someone that went to Butler.

  2. smilbourn says:

    Our community, both locally and at-large, have benefited in the most profound ways by your servant leadership, Dr. Vietti. Thank you, in particular, for the warm and gracious way you have mentored me as an educator . You are and always will be a treasured friend.

  3. Valerie Mack says:

    Jackie – You have always been and will always be a class act. Thank you for your support of the Arts – and for all of us at Butler. We wish you the very best as you move forward. Thank you and God bless!

  4. Chelsea says:

    As a Butler alumna, I can attest that Dr. Vietti is a real class act whose leadership has elevated Butler to a whole knew level. Thanks and congratulations!

  5. Susan Ault says:

    Dr. Vietti,Thank you soooo much for what you have done at the college!!! You will be missed by many! You have been an inspiration to many! I appreciate your dedication to the college and everything you have done. I was soooo touched when you came to my father’s graveside service! You always supported the instrumental program. You show students that you believe in them. In are a "class act" for sure. Whoever fills your shoes will have tough shoes to fill. So as an alumna from Butler I thank you for your leadership not only in an administrative level but going above and beyond and investing into the students lives in all that you have done the past 17 years. God bless you and God bless you in your retirement. May the Lord bless your time with family! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

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