Dr Steve Butts

Dr Steve Butts

Head of School

Plymouth Business School (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Previous roles include: 

Interim Deputy Dean

Associate Dean: Teaching & Learning

Curriculum Enrichment Project Implementation Manager

University Teaching Fellow


Ph.D. Applied Anthropology University of South Florida

Master's Degree in Anthropology from University of Kansas

Bachelor's Degree University of Kansas

Professional membership

Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy 

Fellow, RSA

Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology

Roles on external bodies

Plymouth Area Business Council



Teaching interests

Applying Anthropology

Intercultural Communication

Participant Observation

Culture and Social Change

Creative Design and Experiences

Cultural Events Management 




Research interests

Current research interests include: strategic use of events; student experience; event and destination innovation. 



Butts, S. (2015) 'Transformational Engagement: The Impact of Becoming a Faculty of Arts & Humanities Dean's Award Ambassador.'  Vice-Chancellor's Teaching and Learning Conference.Plymouth University, June.  

Butts, S. (2013) Panel member, "What direction for creative education in austerity?" RSA Public Debate.  Plymouth, December. 

Butts, S. (2012) ‘Enhancing the Student Experience Via University Welcome Events.’ Annual Meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Denver, March.    

Butts, S. (2011) ‘It’s Not That Cold: Surf Tourism in Southwest England.’  Annual Meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Seattle, April. 

Butts, S. (2009) ‘New Space Desire Lines: A Tour Through the Experience.’  EuroCHRIE, Helsinki, October. 

Butts, S. (2009) ‘Motivational Interviewing:  A New Approach to Personal Development Planning,’ 4th International Scientific Conference Planning for the Future - Learning from the Past: Contemporary Developments in Tourism, Travel & Hospitality, Rhodes, April. 

Zhou, Z, and Butts. S. (2008) ‘Intercultural Differences and the Heritage Tourism Experience:  An Exploration of Western and Chinese Values,’ Conference Proceedings of the 4th World Conference for Graduate Research in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, Anatolia, April.

Butts, S. (2007) 'Developing Intercultural Communication:  A University Project,' Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 6(2):109-114.


Southern, R., Meethan, K., Fisher, A., and S. Butts (2007) ‘Final Report:  Economic Impact Assessment of the Summer Festival in Plymouth,’ Socio-economic Research and Intelligence Observatory, University of Plymouth.   

Butts, S., and Emtage, B. (2007) ‘Living and Working: Finding the Onboard Balance,’ Cruise Shipping Opportunities and Challenges:  Markets, Technologies, and Local Development, Naples, October. 

Butts, S. (2007) 'Internationalisation:  Home Truths and Home Students, All Ireland Society for Higher Education, Maynooth, August. 

Butts, S. (2007) ‘Ethics, Experience and Employability:  International Dimensions of the Student Experience,’ Session Organiser, University of Plymouth VC’s Teaching and Learning Conference, June.

Butts, S. (2007) ‘Voices From Beyond the Hoe,’ Film, Vice Chancellor’s Teaching & Learning Conference, July. 

Butts, S, and Briedenhann, J. (2006) 'Rural Tourism:  Projects, Environment and Viability,' Acta Turistica, 18(2):109-137.

Briedenhann, J. and Butts, S. (2006) ‘Challenges and Shortcomings: Use of the Delphi Technique in Rural Tourism Project Evaluation,’ Current Issues in Tourism, 9(2):171-190.

O’Neill, K., Butts, S. and Busby, G. (2006) ‘The Corellification of Cephallonian Tourism,’ Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, 16(2):207-221. 

Butts, S. (2005) ‘Intercultural Communication in English Higher Education:  Not Waving, Drowning,’ Europe Inside Out: International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication, December, Brussels. 

Butts, S. and Turner, M. (2005) ‘Higher Education and Tourism Skills,’ Presentation for the Devon Tourism Skills Network, November, Exeter. 

Briedenhann, J. and Butts, S. (2005) ‘Utilisation-Focused Evaluation,’ Review of Policy Research, 22(2):221-244. 

Butts, S, Briedenhann, J, and McGeorge, A. (2005) ‘The Great Cornish Maize Maze: Low Risk, Low Cost, High Yield,’ Culture & Agriculture, 27(1):61-68.

Butts, S. (2005) ‘Lost in Translation:  A Convenient Excuse,’ Annual Meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Sante Fe, April. 

Butts, S. (2005) ‘Community Attitudes and Failure to Respond: A Hegemonic Model.’ Pasos: Journal of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, 3(1):199-202.

Butts, S. (2005) ‘Intercultural Communication:  Tools for Understanding,’ Workshop for the Higher Education Academy South West Forum, January. 

Briedenhann, J. and Butts, S. (2004) ‘Tourism Administration and Implementation Under Transition: Policy and Practice in South Africa,‘ in Hall, D. (ed), Tourism and Transition: Global Processes, Local Impacts, Wallingford: CABI.  Pp. 201-216.

Butts, S. and Briedenhann, J. (2004) ‘Public Sector Intervention as the Enabler of Rural Tourism,’ 13th Nordic Symposium in Tourism and Hospitality Research, Aalborg, November.

Butts, S. (2004) ‘Rural Tourism Innovation and Lifestyle Choice,’ Tourism State of the Art II, Glasgow, June.

Butts, S. ‘Approaches to Rural Tourism Innovation,’ Annual Meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Dallas, April. 

Butts, S., McGeorge, A. (2003) ‘Rural Tourism Innovation and Entrepreneurial Skills,‘ Conference Proceedings for the 2nd International Scientific Conference, Sustainable Tourism Development and the Environment, Chios Island, Greece, October.

Butts, S. and McGeorge, A. (2003) ‘Harvesting Tourists:  Innovations in Rural Tourism.’  ATLAS Annual Conference, Quality of Life:  Competing Value Perspectives in Leisure and Tourism, Leeuwarden, June. 

Butts, S. (2002) ‘Reinventing a Rural Destination: The Great Cornish Maize Maze,’ Reinventing A Tourism Destination Conference, Dubrovnik, October.

Briedenhann, J, and Butts, S (2002) ‘Studying Up: A Scrutiny of South African Tourism Policy,’ Practicing Anthropology, 25(2):31-33.

Butts, S. and Briedenhann J. (2002) ‘Failure to Implement:  Putting South Africa's Tourism Policy into Practice,’ Tourism Research 2002 Conference, Cardiff, September. 

Butts, S. and Briedenhann, J, (2002) ‘Two Steps Forward One Step Back: Tourism Public Policy in South Africa,’ Annual Meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Atlanta, March. 

Briedenhann, J. and Butts, S. (2001) ‘Tourism Policy in South Africa: Potential and Consequences,’ Tourism Forum - Southern Africa, (1):23-32.

Butts, S. (2001) ‘Driving Culture Underground: Tourism and the Market Economy,’ High Plains Anthropologist, 21(2):196-198.

Butts, S., (2001) ‘Good to the Last Drop: Understanding Surfers’ Motivations.’ Sociology of Sport Online, Volume 4(1).

Butts, S. (2001) ‘An Introduction to Tourism and Anthropology – Book Review,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 28(1):253-254.

Butts, S. (2001) ‘Business as Usual:  Tourism Development into the 21st Century,’ in M. Robinson et al, (eds), Management, Marketing and the Political Economy of Tourism.   Sheffield Hallam University, Pp 31-41. 

Butts, S. (1999) ‘Diversion, Evasion, and Subterfuge:  Community Participation in Tourism Development,’ Annual Meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Tuscon, April. 

Butts, S. (1998) ‘Cultural Tourism - Master’s Distance Learning Module.  Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College/MANCOSA, 1-178.

Butts, S. (1998) ‘Dundrennan Initiative Action Plan,’ Consultancy Report for Dumfries & Galloway District Council. 

Butts, S. (1997) ‘Perceptions Orbiting the Space Coast Tourism Industry,’ Doctoral Dissertation, University of South Florida. 

Butts, S. (1996) ‘Community Perceptions Orbiting the Space Coast Tourism Industry,’ Florida Academy of Sciences, Melbourne, March.

Butts, S. (1995) ‘Tourism for Whom?’  Practicing Anthropology, 17(2):13-16.



Other academic activities

Other Academic Activities:

2013-2015 Teaching Development Framework Panel Member for HEA Accreditation.

2013 SSTAR (Student and Staff, Teaching and Representation) Award Nominee, Most Innovative Use of Teaching Methods.

2011-2013 Project Manager, University Induction Welcome Parties.

2011-2015 Key Information Sets Return Lead

2011 Vice-Chancellor's Enterprise Awards Winner - Inspirational Contribution to Teaching.

2006-2015 Internal and external degree approval chair and panel member. 

2006-2008 University of Plymouth Internationalisation Change Academy Group.

2006-2007 University Teaching Fellow, “Mapping the non-UK Domiciled Student Experience."

2005-2006 University Teaching Fellow, "Intecultural Awareness and Conflict Alleviation."

2004-2005 Seale-Hayne Educational Trust Grant, “Intercultural Communication Development.”