Calvin O. Butts III Announces Plans to Step Down as President of SUNY Old Westbury

The Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, the longest serving president in the history of SUNY Old Westbury, has announced his plans to step down early next year. He will go on study leave for the spring semester of 2020 and plans to return as  professor of American Studies during the fall semester of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Dr. Butts was appointed to lead the college by SUNY trustees in 1999. During his 20-year career as president, the college earned accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and created its first-ever graduate programs, which now include degrees in accounting, adolescence education, childhood special education, literacy education, forensic accounting, and taxation.

Under President’s Butts leadership, the college’s enrollment greatly improved after experiencing sharp declines in the 1990s. Additionally, buildings all over campus have been renovated and a new academic center, a student union, and residence halls were built.

In addition to his presidency, Dr. Butts serves as the pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. He has previously served as an adjunct professor of urban affairs in the African Studies department at City College, part of the City University of New York. He has also taught a course in Black church history at Fordham University.

“It’s just time. Twenty years in a college presidency is a long time,” Dr. Butts said in an interview. “It’s been a joy, and it’s been a joy to be part of the state university system.”

Dr. Butts is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he majored in philosophy. He holds a master of divinity degree in church history from Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan, and a doctor of ministry degree in church and public policy from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Related Articles


Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Students at Three HBCUs in New Orleans to Participate in Power of Prosperity Initiative

The Power of Prosperity program will help remove barriers to students’ academic success by providing students and their families with free access to financial support and resources.

Yale University Scholar Wins Early Career Physics Award

Charles D. Brown II, an assistant professor of physics at Yale University, has been selected as the winner the Joseph A. Johnson Award for Excellence from the American Institute of Physics and the National Society of Black Physicists.

Three African Americans Appointed to New Administrative Posts at Universities

Arthur Lumzy Jr. is the new director of student career preparedness at Texas A&M University–Commerce. Sandra L. Barnes was named associate provost for undergraduate education and student success at Alcorn State University in Mississippi and Roberto Campos-Marquetti has been appointed assistant vice president for staff and labor relations at Duke University.

North Carolina A&T State University to Debut New Graduate Programs in Criminal Justice

The university's criminal justice master’s and doctoral programs are designed to provide high-quality graduate education and training in criminal justice with the four areas of specialization: investigative science, digital forensics, research methodology, and social justice.

Featured Jobs