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Dr. Keith Garbutt

Garbutt one of select few nationwide named fellow of National Collegiate Honors Council

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Media Contact: Ebonie Hill | Program Coordinator | 405-744-3626 |

Dr. Keith Garbutt, dean of the Oklahoma State University Honors College, was recently named a fellow of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC).

He is one of two honors professionals selected this year and is joining a select group of about 70 other honors program professionals across the country to be honored with this title.

Started in 2010, the NCHC Fellows are a group of distinguished individuals who have been recognized for their impact on honors at a local, regional, and national level. Various factors are considered when naming these Fellows, including scholarly activities related to honors education, honors organizational leadership, and a demonstrated record of sustained commitment to honors education.

“I am honored to have been named as a National Collegiate Honors Council Fellow by the national Honors community and am particularly happy to have joined two former members of the Honors College here at Oklahoma State University who were elected Fellows in the past,” said Garbutt, who is also a professor in plant biology, ecology and evolution. “Dr. Robert Spurrier, the emeritus director of the Honors College and Ms. Jessica Sullins, former assistant Director of Honors, now Director of the Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research who continues to be active in Honors in at the national level, are both NCHC Fellows.

“The honor of being named an NCHC Fellow goes to those who have provided significant service to Honors Education at the national level and the fact that OSU now has three fellows demonstrates the high quality of the Oklahoma State Honors College.”

Garbutt received both his bachelors and doctorate in botany from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom. In 1980, he came to the United States and did postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and at Harvard University before moving to West Virginia University in 1987. In 2000, Garbutt's work in innovation in undergraduate education led to his being named the Eberly Family Distinguished Professor for Outstanding Teaching.

In 2000, Garbutt was appointed Director of the Honors Program at WVU. Six years later, the WVU Board of Governors approved the creation of The Honors College, and Garbutt was named Dean. He remained Dean at WVU until 2014, when he was named inaugural dean of The Honors College at OSU.

Garbutt currently serves as NCHC treasurer and was previously the Chair of the NCHC Science and Mathematics Committee. He also previously served on the Finance Committee and was a member of the Board of Directors.

The NCHC asked Garbutt what he considered his greatest professional achievement.

I have never thought this to be an appropriate question for someone, surely this is something others should evaluate,” Garbutt replied. “What I am proud of are the achievements of the students and junior colleagues I have mentored over the years. Being privileged to work with remarkable young people is what makes being in Honors so rewarding. We should not only leave the ladder down but also give a hand up.”

Garbutt will be formally recognized for this achievement at the NCHC conference in October in Orlando, Florida.

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