Scientist-turned-administrator led campus, launched Cancer Center

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Fred R. Butcher, Ph.D., vice president for planning and operations at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, has announced that he will end his long career at the University this summer. From 2007-09, Dr. Butcher served as WVU’s interim vice president for health sciences, the chief administrative post for all three health campuses of the University.
“Fred Butcher has been the go-to person for many important jobs and the leader of significant programs that advanced the WVU Health Sciences Center for more than three decades,” Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., chancellor for health sciences, said. “He never said ‘no’ to an assignment and made decisions that were in the best interests of the institution. His efforts and devotion to duty have contributed to the successes of our students, our faculty, and our staff in hundreds of ways. He is a valued colleague and friend.”

Butcher, a biochemist and cancer researcher, was recruited to the WVU School of Medicine from Brown University in 1978. He served as a professor, and later chair, in the Department of Biochemistry until 1984, when he was appointed associate dean for research and graduate studies. In that role, he was among the leaders of the group that led the development of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.

When the Cancer Center opened in 1989, he was named its founding director, a post he held for 11 years. During that period, he recruited the Center’s original research and patient-care faculty and led the effort to equip the facility with the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies available. In 2012, in recognition of his work, he was named Director Emeritus of the Cancer Center.

“Dr. Butcher has been a tireless leader and advocate for West Virginia University and our Health Sciences Center,” WVU President E. Gordon Gee, J.D., Ed.D., said. “His work in establishing the Cancer Center has benefitted tens of thousands of West Virginians. We will be forever grateful for his service to this institution and the people of this state. We wish him the very best in his retirement.”

Among his other roles at WVU, Butcher has served as the senior associate vice president for health sciences; associate dean of the School of Medicine; and as interim executive director of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute during its formative period.

Since 2009, he has served as vice president for planning and operations for the Health Sciences Center, responsible for campus-wide academic affairs and the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of facilities across the three campuses. His most recent accomplishment has been overseeing the $20 million new state-of-the-art vivarium on the HSC campus.  He was the principal investigator of the competitively-awarded grant from the National Institutes of Health that funded the construction of the project.
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
bc: 01-24-14