Executive Director, Transformation Lab

Indianapolis, IN

Butler University

The Executive Director of Butler Beyond Transformation Lab (BBTL) is responsible for the growth and overall direction of the Lab, a new, collaborative hub formed to accelerate Butler University’s transformation through the research and development of new, future-oriented educational models, initiatives and mission-aligned ventures. The Executive Director is responsible for the strategic direction of the unit and the management of the Lab team.


Reporting to the Vice President of Strategy & Innovation, the Executive Director will provide insight on the external change pressures impacting higher education and partner with University leadership and the campus community to develop ideas that lead to the exploration of new markets, products, partnerships, and related business ventures to address these challenges. Operationally, the executive director will oversee complex project-based initiatives from ideation and conceptual design through pilots and full implementation.


The primary, but not exclusive, focus of the Lab’s work will be in support of the Butler Beyond Strategic Direction and both driving and supporting ideas that contribute to the University’s transformation and long-term viability. 


The Executive Director will be a creative, results-oriented, entrepreneurially-minded professional that has a deep understanding of both higher education practices and emerging business models.


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic direction and leadership within the Lab and across the University related to the topics and initiatives pursued within the Lab
  • Lead all operational aspects of the Transformation Lab from fiscal and team management to oversight of the management of projects, programming and events that advance the unit’s mission
  • Build and manage internal and external relationships to advance innovation initiatives, including external advisory groups, internal working groups, corporate relationships, philanthropic partners, and other university collaborations
  • Work with the various Butler Beyond strategy leads to identify ways in which the Lab can provide resources and support to ideas emerging from existing efforts
  • Develop and manage formalized, university-wide process for idea sourcing, vetting, piloting, evaluating and launching new complex project based initiatives
  • Oversee the evaluation of market opportunities and financial investment, including the dedicated Transformation Lab investment fund, for all new program and venture ideas
  • Collaborate with other Universities working on similar transformation initiatives and create purposeful opportunities for partnership both locally and nationally
  • Provide direction to and oversee the Lab’s Innovation Fellows, a collaboration with Purdue University’s Innovation College
  • Engage with Butler’s new venture efforts, including interaction with the local and national education start-up community and Butler’s newly established education investment fund


Key Attributes:

  • Experience managing new education-related ideas and ventures from concept to market, including innovation methodology
  • Passionate about the transformation of higher education and knowledgeable about the changes impacting the industry, including market dynamics and policy
  • Outstanding leadership, relationship management and interpersonal skills, experience working with both university faculty, staff, and administrators and external higher education influencers
  • Broad regional or national network of higher education thought leaders
  • Creative and systems thinker
  • Strong market understanding and financial acumen
  • Ability to be both strategic, future oriented and tactical, results focused
  • Ability to juggle multiple products with flexibility and speed


Minimum Qualifications:

  • 5-7 years of experience in the higher education industry
  • Proven experience managing all cycles of idea development and launch
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in creating new initiatives within higher education that advance both the academic and business model of the institution
  • Strong project management and organizational skills with experience balancing multiple projects and deadlines
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate with a variety of constituents including faculty and staff, board members, community members, corporate executives, and start-up founders and investors
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Advanced degree
  • Teaching or classroom-related experience is preferred but not required


Butler University is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive and equitable environment for all employees. We welcome applications from all individuals, regardless of age, gender, gender identity, sex, race, religion, color, disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, national origin, or any other legally protected category.

Posted: 03/31/2021