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AVP for Public Affairs

University of Central Oklahoma


Laura Butler, M. Ed, brings experience in policy analysis, economic development, community partnerships, leadership development and civic engagement, to her role as the assistantvice president of Public Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she advocates on behalf of the institution, manages Public Affairs and shapes legislative messaging. She previously served the institution as director of Public Affairs and Leadership. She has advised multiple student organizations at UCO including the American Democracy Project, Leadership Central scholarship groups: President’s Leadership Council and Leaders of Tomorrow, TEDxUCO and TEDxUCOWomen, through TED Talks. She also serves the university as an adjunct professor instructing courses in leadership. 

Laura’s professional experiences have focused on leadership development; advocacy; policy analysis and Alternative Dispute Resolution practices.  Prior to joining the University of Central Oklahoma, Laura served in judicial affairs at multiple campuses within the University of California higher education system.  Laura is certified in Restorative Justice Practices from UC Berkeley, Conflict Mediation from the Donald D. Gehring Academy, Nonprofit Management from the Oklahoma Center for NonProfits, Inclusive Excellence from California Polytechnic State University, Leadership and Public Administration Legislation and Public Administration Municipalities both from Oklahoma City University. Her educational background includes two bachelor's degrees, one in journalism and public relations and the other in sociology, emphasizing criminal behavior. Her professional career began in marketing in the California Central Coast before earning her master’s degree in counseling and guidance from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Laura is active in the Oklahoma City Metro community and serves with several local organizations, including the Edmond Chamber of Commerce on the Leadership Edmond Steering Committee and a Chamber Government Relations Committee member.  Laura is also engaged with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the State Chamber of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma State Regents Economic Development Committee.  Laura served as a speaker for Oklahoma Chamber leadership programs and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Student Board of Directors 2017-22. Laura has received multiple awards and recognition for her work and involvement including the 2019 Integris Volunteer of the Year by the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce and the Edmond Sun Business Times Top 20 under 40 in 2017. Laura is a graduate of Leadership Edmond Class XXX; the Tinker Air Force Base Honorary Commander program class in 2018, where she was selected as the graduation and inauguration speaker; Leadership Oklahoma City class 39, and active with the Junior League of Oklahoma City.

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.