Campus News · Feature

From air force to dean to VPA, Winningham has made an exceptional career

Maya Hall


Lori Winningham is currently the vice president of Academics and has been since 2016, but she is now moving on from the position to get back into teaching. Throughout her career, she has done many things for the college. 

Lori Winningham, the current Vice President of Academics, served in the air force before coming to Butler to teach full time in 1992. Winningham will be stepping down from vice president to return to her teaching career. Photo by Maya Hall

Winningham has a hefty amount of education, a bachelor of science in mathematics from Kansas State University, a master’s in business administration from Chapman University and she has worked on an accounting degree at Cameron University and an EdD from Baker University in Higher Education and Leadership. Before working at Butler, she also served in the air force. 

“I served in the air force for four years,” Winningham said. “My first assignment was to the Los Angeles Air Force Base. During that time, I worked on the Delta II and Advanced Launch Systems. This was after the Challenger accident, so the air force worked to bring expendable launch vehicles back into production while the space shuttle was grounded. I later served as chief, Cost Analysis at Castle Air Force Base, California.” 

Her husband also served through the air force, and right before the closure of Castle Air Force base Winningham got out of the air force. Winningham and her husband then transferred to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, and Winningham got a job as a budget officer for the city of Wichita and taught part time at Newman university and at Butler. 

“I accepted a full-time mathematics instructor at Butler in August of 1992,” Winningham said. “I served in that role for three years until my husband was transferred to Altus AFB [Air Force Base], Oklahoma. I came back to Butler in August of 1996 as the dean of Math, Science, and Physical Education…I served in the dean position until accepting the VPA position in May of 2016.” 

Since Winningham has been involved at Butler since the 1990’s, she has seen many different changes during her time here. 

“I have seen Butler grow during the 1990’s and expand our physical presence by opening a campus in Andover,” Winningham said. “I taught at the 9100 building and in the portables that were on the north side of the building…I was part of implementing Banner in the fall of 1999 from the previous administrative system known as the AS 400. Pipeline was implemented around this same time which we are now working on replacing with Campus M. When I started at Butler, very few individuals had a computer in their office… It has been exciting and tremendous, the impact that technology has had on all colleges.” 

In making her decision on stepping down from the VPA position, Winningham thought about her family and how she likes to work more closely with people. 

“I have always loved working with the students, faculty and staff here at Butler,” Winningham said. “I have enjoyed being part of news things and learning new ways of doing things. The past five years have had many challenges and after losing my father and nearly losing one of my sons to a cardiac arrest, I made the decision to go back to the classroom. I am looking forward to a busy, but less stressful and much more rewarding experience this fall back in the classroom.” 

Winningham is eager to get back to the classroom and work with students and hopes to do it for many more years to come. 

“My greatest accomplishment is that I have served the students and faculty at Butler for many years,” Winningham said. “I hope to continue to do that for many more years by returning to the classroom.” 

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