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Keith Garbutt, Ph.D.


Dr. Keith Garbutt, the Honors College dean, stands under the large bell at Old Central.


Keith Garbutt is Dean of the Honors College and a professor of Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evolution at Oklahoma State University.


Garbutt received both his B.Sc. [Hons.] and Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wales, UK. In 1980 he came to the U.S. and did postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and at Harvard University before moving to West Virginia University in 1987 as an assistant professor. Shortly after receiving tenure in 1993 he became Chair of the Department of Biology, a position he held until 2000. In 2000 Garbutt's work in innovation in undergraduate education led to his being named the Eberly Family Distinguished Professor for Outstanding Teaching. As a botanist Garbutt's work focuses in the main on population biology, eco-physiology and genetics of plants; his research has been supported by awards from NSF, USDA, EPA, and other external sources.


In 2000 Garbutt was appointed Director of the Honors Program at WVU. A short six years later, the WVU Board of Governors approved the creation of the Honors College and Garbutt was named Dean. At WVU each residence hall has a faculty member, known as the Resident Faculty Leader, who lives either in an apartment in the hall or in a house adjacent to it. Garbutt and his wife elected to be the resident faculty for Honors Hall and served as Resident Faculty from 2009-2014. In this position they offered academic and cultural programs to the students and provided (in the secular sense) pastoral support to the students.


Since becoming a full-time administrator his scholarly concerns have moved to issues of education and Honors administration. He has written and presented on issues such as the impact of merit aid on socioeconomic diversity, support for first-generation students and student leadership. His most recent publication is, "Living in Hogwarts" in 2015 co-authored with C. Garbutt, in the NCHC monograph "Housing Honors" eds. Frost, Kay and Poe. Garbutt serves as the Chair of the National Collegiate Honors Council Science and Mathematics Committee and also serves on the Finance Committee and is a member of the Board of Directors. 

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