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In Memory of Dr. Rob Butters

Photo of Dr. Rob Butters

College of Social Work faculty, staff, students, and graduates were deeply saddened to learn former faculty member Rob Butters passed away suddenly on December 13th as the result of a heart attack. 

Photo of Dr. Brad Lundahl, Dr. Rob Butters, PhD student Brian Droubay, and MSW student Kalani Nelford in front of an electronic posterA licensed clinical social worker, he was the founder and clinical director at LifeMatters Counseling & Health Center.  In addition to being a social worker, Dr. Butters was a teacher, researcher, and mentor.  He served as an assistant professor at the University of Utah College of Social Work for more than 15 years, and spent seven years as director of the U’s Utah Criminal Justice Center before returning to full time clinical work in 2020.  His research focused on forensic social work, mental health practice, domestic violence, sexual assault, pornography, and criminal justice.  His work was recognized with multiple awards, including the College of Social Work’s 2011 Outstanding MSW Faculty Award and the Salt Lake Domestic Violence Coalition’s 2015 Peace on Earth Justice Award.

Among other professional activities, he served terms on the advisory board of the Children’s Justice Center, the executive board of the National Organization of Forensic Social Workers, the teaching working group of the Society for Social Work and Research’s Grand Challenge to Promote Smart Decarceration, and as the co-founding editor of the Journal of Forensic Social Work

Dr. Butters earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology, master’s degree in social work, and PhD in social work from the University of Utah. 

Photo of Dr. Jason Castillo, Dr. Eric Garland, Dr. Rob Butters, and Dr. Brad Lundahl summiting Mount TimpanogosA lifelong Utahn, he loved spending time in outdoor spaces—cycling, gardening, camping, hiking, fly fishing, and kayaking.  He is survived by four children, whom he described as “amazing,” and many more close family members and friends.

Click here to read Dr. Butters’ obituary.


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Last Updated: 3/17/22