View Our Priorities & Initiatives

Drafting a strategic direction is one thing. Taking the necessary steps to make it happen is quite another. These are the priorities we’ve identified to take Butler Beyond, and the initiatives we’ve developed to keep us moving forward.

Butler University will develop and enhance programs and experiences of distinction, maximize exceptional student outcomes, and deliver an education inclusive of the academic, social, and career needs of future learners.

Initiative 1.1—Expand access to a Butler degree through the creation of new degree options, pathways, and partnerships

Increase the number of 3-year degree programs, articulation agreements with community colleges, and alternative high school to college pathways. Implement a distinctive scholar cohort program. Reimagine a Butler education that lives into our founding mission.

Initiative 1.2—Ensure the curriculum, pedagogy, and programs offered to meet the evolving needs of our students, their future employers, and society at large

Identify and implement curriculum and pedagogical innovations in the core curriculum, college curricula, and post-graduate preparation and pathways. Ensure that programs and degrees are continuously aligned to the needs of employers through the integration of relevant curricular or co-curricular components that meet identified, in-demand skill needs.

Initiative 1.3—Expand and enhance the practices that drive successful student outcomes

Enhance existing and establish new areas of high impact practices and student support services. Enhance undergraduate advising efforts. Create and implement a first year engagement & retention plan.


Executive Sponsor: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Brooke Barnett

Student learning is a comprehensive and transformative process that integrates curricular and co-curricular engagement. A holistic learning approach encompasses experiences that contribute to students’ overall development and prioritizes their well-being.

Initiative 2.1—Advance student health and well-being

Increase students’ sense of safety on campus. Implement interventions and outreach related to alcohol use, intimate partner violence, and healthy sexual practices. Promote and ensure access to mental health resources. Enhance the medical care and physical development of our student-athletes.

Initiative 2.2—Enhance opportunities for student engagement

Increase first-year student engagement and opportunities to interact across differences through collaboration with campus partners.


Executive Sponsors: Vice President for Student Affairs Frank E. Ross III and Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier

Changing times require Butler to find new ways to pursue our mission of enhancing lives through education, unbound by current realities, through the design of infrastructure, systems, programs, and processes that enable an even more nimble, market-responsive institution.

Initiative 3.1—Continually advance future-oriented educational practices and ideas

Launch the Butler Beyond Transformation Lab to identify, design and pilot new models of higher education or initiatives that are poised to help the University realize its strategic vision. Launch a central hub for faculty development & success. Expand program development & success resources to support new program growth.

Initiative 3.2—Expand programmatic offerings that serve the needs of non-traditional and online learners

Establish the structure, processes, and resources to support greater development and delivery of degree and non-degree programs for adult and profession-focused learners. Build the appropriate credit and non-credit program portfolio to meet the stated growth and learner goals for the University.

Initiative 3.3—Contribute to the transformation of higher ed through the creation and support of new mission-aligned organizations

Develop the internal infrastructure to create and support the development of new ventures, within and outside of Butler, that expand Butler’s impact and advance the University’s strategy. Develop local and national collaborations that advance the growth of transformative education-related organizations in the state.


Executive Sponsors: Vice President for Strategy and Innovation Melissa Beckwith and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Brooke Barnett

Butler University faculty and staff are the heart of the institution. Butler will attract, develop, and retain high-performing and highly engaged faculty and staff.

Initiative 4.1—Enhance Butler’s human capital development

Recruit a senior-level leader to guide the Human Resources division.

Initiative 4.2—Develop a shared sense of purpose and community and the connection vehicles that drive it

Enhance internal communication and provide opportunities for increased connection within the Butler community.

Initiative 4.3—Foster, incentivize, and support employee creativity and innovation

Develop a philosophy of supporting creativity and programming to nurture innovative ideas.


Executive Sponsors: Vice President for University Advancement Jonathan Purvis and Vice President for Arts, Events, and Enterprise Management Aaron Hurt

Butler will establish the shared responsibility of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and board members to act deliberately toward inclusive and equitable outcomes.

Initiative 5.1—Strengthen institutional capacity to advance DEI

Develop an institutional infrastructure to support a collaborative and coordinated approach to DEI work across the University. Use results from the DEI inventory to inform opportunities to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across the University. Assess Butler’s campus climate for diversity. Establish DEI goals and key metrics to drive outcomes and measure success.

Initiative 5.2—Recruit, retain, and cultivate students, faculty, and staff from marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds and identities

Identify and assess strategies for building and sustaining a diverse campus community

Initiative 5.3—Foster a climate of respect among all students, faculty, staff, and administrators from a range of diverse backgrounds, ideas, and perspectives

Enhance and expand DEI training for all members of the campus community. Ensure DEI-related goals are established and included in performance evaluations for division and college leadership. Implement and improve institutional structures that support a bias-free environment. Continually assess our climate and initiatives for effectiveness. Increase visibility of Butler’s founding history, DEI stories, and progress toward its DEI efforts.

Initiative 5.4—Advance inclusion through the curriculum, co-curricular learning, scholarship, and community engagement

Advance teaching and scholarship that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion.Engage students in learning outside of the classroom that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. Create opportunities for Butler students, faculty, and staff to advance DEI through meaningful engagement in the community.


Executive Sponsor: Vice President for Student Affairs Frank E. Ross III

Butler University will enhance its position of institutional strength through the purposeful use of data, maximization of resources, diversification of its enrollment & tuition model, and fulfillment of its critical fundraising objectives.

Initiative 6.1—Build research and business intelligence capabilities to support data-informed decision-making

Capture and categorize the types of current and future decisions facing colleges and divisions. Inventory, map, and identify existing data sources, toolsets, and human capital resources to support data-informed decision-making and modeling.

Initiative 6.2—Develop a campus master plan that supports future University growth

Complete a multi-phase, comprehensive review and design process for the development of campus land, civic space, vehicular circulation and parking, pedestrian mobility, transportation, building massing, utility corridors, neighborhood connectivity, real estate, and campus character.

Initiative 6.3—Improve key University-wide processes to optimize efficiencies, cost, and experience 

Identify high-impact areas of opportunity for process improvement. Engage, educate, and empower faculty, staff, and students in continuously identifying and implementing efficient operations, processes and procedures.

Initiative 6.4—Implement student enrollment goals and strategies to support FTUG sustainability in light of competitive pressures and demographic realities

Develop a long-term, sustainable undergraduate pricing model and aid strategy that works with consistent net tuition revenue goals and strengthens Butler’s financial position. Increase full-time undergraduate multicultural student representation to align with the University mission and increase geographic representation, domestically and internationally, to drive higher market demand and build a stronger national brand.

Initiative 6.5—Meet the Butler Beyond fundraising goal of $250M

Attract and secure funding to support designated capital, scholarship, programmatic, operating, and faculty support needs.


Executive Sponsor: Vice President for Finance and Administration Bruce Arick

Butler University has made considerable progress over the past decade in elevating its profile both regionally and nationally. Maintaining that momentum, Butler seeks to further expand the reach and impact of its brand upon a more diverse set of learners, strategic partners, and communities.

Initiative 7.1—Define, articulate, and measure awareness of Butler’s key differentiators

Define and articulate the University’s positions of strength. Develop mechanisms to capture data around our key messages and to measure awareness of key messaging and overall brand strength among specified target audiences.

Initiative 7.2—Position Butler University as Indianapolis’/Central Indiana’s premier private university

Brand Butler University’s social and corporate responsibility. Position Butler University as a critical partner not only in the city’s continuing economic, educational, and cultural growth but as a key driver in improving the quality of life of Indianapolis’ citizens and visitors.

Initiative 7.3—Attain national university standing in key college ranking lists

Strategically move into the national university category in U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges and target key specialty rankings for Butler prominence. Identify other rankings/indices to build a reputation for new models of education/innovation.


Executive Sponsor: Vice President and Chief of Staff Brent Rockwood