Mark Button has been named the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He will also hold a faculty position as a professor of political science.
Button will officially assume the position on July 1, pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, made the announcement Feb. 18.
“I’m happy to welcome Dr. Button to Nebraska,” Plowman said. “Mark has deep experience as a department executive officer, is an acclaimed scholar, and is committed and passionate for the liberal arts and land-grant missions. I am excited for the future of the College of Arts and Sciences and for our campus under his leadership.”
Button comes to Nebraska from the University of Utah, where he served in many leadership roles over the past decade, including department chair, associate chair, and director of graduate studies. During his time at Utah, he recruited and retained award-winning faculty across all ranks, spurred new research and academic collaborations in many of the colleges, and expanded the undergraduate curriculum and majors. He also increased the diversity of students and faculty, established new scholarships, increased graduate student funding, and created a successful campus-community public dialogue series.
“I strongly believe in the mission and values of a robust liberal arts education that integrates the sciences, humanities, and social sciences in research and teaching,” Button said. “I have great respect for the values and commitments of Nebraska’s land-grant mission and I’m excited to embark on this leadership opportunity with the university.”
The College of Arts and Sciences provides a world-class liberal arts education in the humanities, natural and mathematical sciences, social sciences, and interdisciplinary studies, as well as minor studies, and pre-health and pre-law programs. It is the university’s largest college.
Button will work with fellow deans and campus leaders, along with the college’s leadership team and department chairs, to support the mission and vision of the college and its role within the university and state.
Button is a first-generation college student and holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in peace studies from the University of Oregon. His doctorate in political science is from Rutgers University. Button has written two scholarly books and numerous articles that focus on political ethics, deliberative democracy, and the history of moral and political thought.