Butler President Dr. Kim Krull Announces Retirement | Butler Community College

Butler President Dr. Kim Krull Announces Retirement

Butler President Dr. Kimberly Krull
Published: Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

Krull leaves her fingerprints on Butler’s teaching, learning spaces, impacts student lives.

After years of dedicated service to the students, faculty, staff and constituents of Butler Community College, President Dr. Kim Krull has announced her plans to retire.

Krull made the announcement following the February meeting of the Board of Trustees. She will finish her contract, which runs through June 30, and has agreed to serve month to month until a replacement and transition plan are finalized.

“It has been the privilege of my career to serve as Butler’s president. I owe a huge thank you to Trustees Ted Dankert, Ted Albright, Ron Engelbrecht, Dr. Greg Joyce, Jim Howell, Candace Kunkel, Tom McKibban, Sara Hurd, and Jim Wilson for trusting in me in 2013,” said Krull.  

Inducted as the fifth president of one of the state’s largest community colleges, Krull oversaw the successful completion of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation visit last year. The HLC’s findings last fall claimed the college’s operations to be outstanding and designated Butler as a highly mature institution; one of the highest functioning colleges related to teaching and student assessment.  

The successful HLC report extended Butler’s designation as an “open pathway” institution, a privileged status among institutions. This provides Butler greater freedom to pursue improvement projects that meet current needs and aspirations.

Krull was chosen due to her passion and focus on student success, which never wavered. During her tenure at Butler, she made decisions and led projects that kept student success at the forefront, and in 2021 was named a Wichita Business Journal Executive of the Year.

During her tenure, Butler received recognition as a National AVID Mentor School, a National Security Agency Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cybersecurity, the 50th Adobe Creative Campus in the country and was repeatedly named as a military friendly institution.  Butler was named an Aspen Top 150 institution, a 2022 Innovation of the Year recipient from the League for Innovation in the Community College, and received the ACT award for College Career and Readiness. In addition, the college received multiple Wichita Business Journal awards for Innovation, and Diversity and Inclusion.  

A strong believer in the community college mission, Krull has played an active role in engaging legislators in Topeka advocating for community colleges to remain the most affordable access point to higher education in the country.

A personable president, often with a light-hearted quip and a smile on her face, she regularly connected with students and employees by hosting open forums and creating an open dialog for sharing concerns and insights related to their experiences at Butler.

Her mantra to faculty and staff has always been to make a difference in the lives of students and that each person daily impacts students in the work they do.

“We get to come to work every day and change lives,” she shared regularly over the years.  

“My life has been blessed beyond measure. You have taught me in your own special ways about the impact of collective vision and work and especially the difference, together, we can make. Keep up the great work and continue to make Butler the amazing college it is,” she recently wrote to faculty and staff.

“I am hopeful your next president will understand they are standing on the shoulders of nearly 100 years of visionary leaders who have led Butler and who, most importantly, have changed students’ lives.”

Campus Accomplishments

She saw the completion of a $3.3 million renovation to the Student Union on the El Dorado campus and was able to announce the successful completion of the Forever Butler campaign which exceeded its $10 million goal to raise funds for student scholarships.

When the Andover School District planned the renovation and new construction of Andover High School, Krull led the initiative for Butler to remodel its 5000 Building location on 13th Street to absorb the college’s operations in Andover High School and the classroom building at 21st and Andover Road. The remodel provided students with a one-stop shop for all student services, with updated classrooms, labs, community meeting space, and a new building for Facilities, Construction Technology and Engineering Technology.  

In August 2022, Krull, Scott and Betsy Redler, and Paul and Flavia Jackson celebrated the opening of the Redler Institute of Culinary Arts on Kellogg in Andover. The $6.2 million facility supported through private donations elevated Butler’s long-time culinary and hospitality programs to the next level.  

Most recently, the college saw major improvements to the College Theatre with a new sound system, lighting and projection mapping to enhance Fine Arts productions, as well as a major renovation of the college’s gymnasium, the “Power Plant,” in El Dorado. The $3.15 million Power Plant project, funded in part with federal stimulus dollars, included a new HVAC system, improved lighting and removed walls to create a more open and aesthetically pleasing space. The project also created a new Hall of Fame donor room overlooking the court and a student-run production room for livestreaming athletic events. These projects were all completed while lowering tuition for students and decreasing the county mill levy to the lowest it has been in decades.

Academic Accomplishments

Krull’s commitment to Butler’s mission has been evident in her support of academics, adding programs in Diesel Technology, Construction Technology, and expansion of the Nursing program in partnership with Cowley College. The college has continued to expand online program offerings and articulation agreements with public and private universities like Newman, Friends, Southwestern, Fort Hays State, and Wichita State, Butler’s primary transfer partner.  

Under Krull’s leadership, the Early College Academy continued to expand program pathways for students. The academy allows qualified high school juniors and seniors to enroll at Butler full-time. Students who successfully complete the Early College Academy graduate with an associate degree and high school diploma at the same time.

Krull navigated her administration through the unknown waters of COVID and successfully pivoted nearly 1700 traditional in-person and blended delivery courses to remote-only within weeks. During this unprecedented time, Butler’s student retention rate increased compared to the prior year.

Next Chapter

The Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Chair Linda Jolly, are preparing to launch an executive search for the sixth president of the college, who will be the visionary to lead Butler through its 100th anniversary celebration in 2027 and beyond.

“I am grateful to Dr. Krull for her leadership and passion for serving our students. Her body of work stands as a testament to her belief in the college and to those who work tirelessly to fulfill its mission,” said Jolly. “The Board of Trustees is actively organizing to launch our executive search within the coming weeks.”  

Dr. Krull’s next chapter includes spending more time with her daughter Leisa and son-in-law Mike in Minnesota, and her son John, daughter-in-law Joy and one-year-old granddaughter June in Anchorage, AK. She plans to be actively engaged and supportive of the college and community events and initiatives.