Progress & Updates

The following is not necessarily an all-inclusive list but captures several notable highlights.

  • Gardner Institute—Butler commences Foundations of Excellence with partner Gardner Institute to enable institutional transformation that improves first-year or transfer student success and retention through comprehensive, evidence-based, guided self-study, planning, and implementation (fall 2021).
  • FIR Program Enhancements—The Faculty-in-Residence (FIR) program continues to see positive growth and changes, including establishment of joint oversight of the program between Academic and Student Affairs and creation of an action plans to enhance academic partnerships with the FIR program.
  • New Minors—Butler launches new minors in Esports Communication, Asian Studies, and Museum Studies.
  • Ivy Tech Articulation Agreements—Butler and Ivy Tech partnered to create the first transfer agreement in Elementary Education (December 2020) and two additional transfer agreements in Business and in Art + Design (August 2021). These agreements seek to provide a more accessible and affordable pathway to a Butler degree, and in the case of the agreement with COE, to address Indiana’s teacher shortage. Currently, there are 8 new pathways within LAS that are in the pipeline.
  • Three-Year Degree Programs—Butler established 10 additional three-year degree tracks, bringing the total number to 40. These accelerated, lower-cost pathways allow students complete their degree sooner through access to year-round courses (July 2021).
  • UnitedHealthcare Academy at Butler—UnitedHealthcare and Butler University have agreed to a partnership that will deliver work-based learning and employment opportunities to LSB students interested in pursuing a career with United Healthcare. Through the United Healthcare Academy, students will be part of a four-year track that includes multiple paid internships and the opportunity for full-time employment upon graduation, among other forms of financial support. The partnership creates a distinctive student experience, lowers the cost of a Butler degree and aligns skill needs closely to those of a key workforce partner (July 2021).
  • Wipro-Salesforce Course—Wipro, formerly Appirio, has partnered with Butler University to offer a Salesforce consulting preparatory college course. Running as a pilot for the 2020–2021 academic year, students will have the opportunity to learn the in-demand skills needed for customer relationship management (CRM). The free, non-credit courses, which are held online, also provide students an opportunity to achieve their initial Salesforce certifications (fall 2020).
  • FIR Program Enhancements—The Faculty-in-Residence (FIR) program continues to see positive growth and changes, including establishment of joint oversight of the program between Academic and Student Affairs and creation of an action plans to enhance academic partnerships with the FIR program. Two new FIRs were hired for fall 2022.
  • Teletherapy Services Platform—in partnership with Preventia, Butler students now have access to online mental health specialists through a holistic health and wellness app (spring 2022).
  • Campus Climate Survey—launched at the end of January. Results, which are expected late summer 2022, will inform the efficacy of existing programs and efforts and will inform future focus areas (spring 2022).
  • SWISS – Student Affairs launched the Student Well-being Institutional Support Survey (SWISS) as part of the Institute for Well-being. To date, 19 colleges and universities and more than 16,000 students nation-wide have participated in SWISS during the pilot administration (fall 2021).
  • Student Well-being Champions—A campus-wide student peer wellness program launched with 80 student leaders who are trained to support their fellow students and advance BUBeWell throughout the Butler community (fall 2021).
  • SGA Restructure—Student Affairs restructured SGA and created three new programming councils (University Program Council, Diversity Program Councils, Civic Engagement Program Council), which will create new opportunities for student involvement (fall 2021).
  • Esports—There continues to be considerable growth in Esports activity in anticipation of the fall 2022 Esports Park Butler Esports students participated in nearly 300 competitions across 13 different titles this year and emerged as the 2022 Electronic Gaming Federation (EGF) VALORANT Power Series champions. Butler also placed first in the iRacing Sebring 12-hour race. This semester saw Butler’s first Esports-specific course (Esports Production, College of Communication) offered, and three new courses are scheduled to be taught in the Esports Park this fall (spring 2021– current).
  • Franciscan Partnership—Butler Athletics has engaged in a multi-year contract with Franciscan to bolster athletic training resources. This arrangement enhances the level of healthcare to student-athletes, which will cascade to more resources for well-being and performance development (fall 2021).
  • Student Financial Literacy—Butler and Elements Financial partner to create a student financial literacy training program (spring 2021).
  • Mental Health First Aid Training—Over the past year, a number of faculty and staff have elected to participate and become certified in Mental Health First Aid, which equips nonclinical individuals to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Over 250 have been trained through the end of 2021, greatly bolstering the number of mental health resources on Butler’s campus. The training has also been extended to parents and alumni.
  • Headspace App—Student Affairs is offering all students a free, annual subscription to the mindfulness and well-being app, Headspace (spring 2021).
  • Podcast on Healthy Relationships—The Sexual Assault Response & Prevention (SARP) Office at Butler University launched a bi-weekly podcast—the ACTUALLY Love Podcast (spring 2021).
  • Butler Food Pantry—Butler has launched the Butler Food Pantry, a service addressing food insecurity through healthy food packages available to all Butler students (spring 2021).
  • Student Mental Health Task Force—A student mental health task force (includes 12 students) has been created. Two of those students will join the current, ad-hoc faculty/staff mental health task force (fall 2020).
  • New Online Programs—Butler launched two new online master’s degree programs, a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Data Analytics in January 2022, and relaunched a third, a Master of Science in Strategic Communication, in partnership with Noodle, the country’s fastest-growing online learning network. That partnership was extended most recently with the addition of a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program which is set to begin in fall 2022.
  • The Collective—The Collective creates a collaborative, integrated approach for professional development. It will foster ongoing innovative teaching, engaged learning, quality curricula and assessment, and scholarly research that supports equity and inclusion and augments the strong culture Butler has as a teaching university (forthcoming fall 2022).
  • Innovation Fellows Program—In partnership with Purdue, the universities have named innovation fellows to identify, test, and pilot opportunities that will better equip undergraduate students with the transdisciplinary skill sets needed to succeed in the future economy (spring 2021). In spring 2022, the Innovation Fellows hosted their first event, The Food Project Exhibition. The event focused on tackling the global challenge of food sustainability and included faculty and students from both institutions (spring 2021–spring 2022).
  • Butler Beyond Transformation Lab—As a result of a $2.5M grant from Lilly Endowment, the university established the Transformation Lab. The Lab will serve as a university-wide catalyst for advancing the Butler Beyond strategic direction and supporting University transformation. The Lab will provide 3 main services: 1) Idea design and development, 2) Access to financial and human resources to move ideas to pilots; and 3) Connection to local and national external partners working on similar transformational efforts. The Lab’s initial employees have been hired were hired in fall 2021. Innovation management software has been implemented and formal launch is expected in spring 2022 (spring 2021).
  • Division of Professional Studies—In securing a $10M grant from Lilly Endowment, Butler is establishing a Division of Professional Studies to grow new programs that serve non-traditional learners, including fully online programs and alternative credit and non-credit credentials (spring 2020). The inaugural Senior Executive Director began in April 2022.
  • Program Success & Innovation—Additionally, a newly established Program Success & Innovation team will work across the colleges, DPS and the Transformation Lab to support faculty in the development of new, high-growth programs. The teams have been building capacity with multiple key hires made over the past year (fall 2020).
  • Human Resources Leadership—Butler hired VP for Human Resources, Lorrie Ortiz, to lead the transformation of the University’s HR department. Additional staff have been added, including in the areas of Organizational Development and Effectiveness, Talent Acquisition, and Total Rewards. The team will lead the University in implementation of foundational work necessary to support Butler’s culture strategy (summer 2021–current).
  • Climate Survey—A pilot climate survey was completed with Executive Council that revealed and/or affirmed several key areas for which to focus and further develop the priority. The team will commence efforts in alignment with Human Resources priorities (fall 2021).
  • Asian and Pacific Islander Alumni Association—Student initiative led to the establishment of the Asian and Pacific Islander Alumni Association, a significant contribution to Butler’s efforts to build an environment of belonging for our API community (forthcoming, fall 2022).
  • Campus Climate Study—Both student-focused and faculty and staff climate surveys were launched in spring 2022. Results, which are expected late summer 2022, will inform the areas in which Butler can better support the challenges our students, faculty and staff face (spring–summer 2022).
  • Affinity Group Program—The program was created to deepen a sense of belonging and to support the onboarding of new faculty and staff, by bringing together individuals with similar backgrounds, identities and/or interests. It acknowledges that faculty and staff often operate in a silo world and provides funding to create opportunities to break down these silos (spring 2022).
  • Inclusion Advocate Program & Onboarding Enhancements—The IAP program, initiated in 2019, was expanded in Fall 2021 to include an online DEI training program, faculty development opportunities and community meetings. The IA Program is now being developed for staff, and this phase of the work will be led by Human Resources. Additionally, an online training was developed to support Butler University’s capacity to recruit, retain and cultivate faculty, staff, and students from marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds and identities with the addition of resources to support a positive onboarding experience (fall 2021).
  • Butler Latinx Alumni Association—Students initiative led to the establishment of the Butler Latinx Alumni Association, a significant contribution to Butler’s efforts to build an environment of belonging for our Latinx community through a variety of social, cultural, and educational programming with the ultimate goal to assist Butler student success and to further strengthen the BU Latinx community (fall 2021).
  • Most Diverse Incoming Class—Butler welcomes the most diverse incoming class in its history, with 21 percent self-identifying as students of color and 18 percent stating they are the first in their family to attend college (fall 2021).
  • DEI Inventory—An inventory collected feedback on the many ways the university community advances DEI on campus and in the community. Creating awareness has allowed for sharing resources and knowledge of existing DEI-related programs and initiatives (summer 2021).
  • DEI Focused Positions and Roles—Each college and the Office of Academic Affairs have created a DEI Faculty Director role more capacity and attention for DEI work in the colleges and academic affairs units. A new Diversity Center Faculty Fellow position has been created to better integrate the academic perspective into student life for student DEI programming. This position is a collaboration with the Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies program. A realigned position created a DEI-focused Faculty-in-Residence to provide greater support for first-year residential students from marginalized/ underrepresented backgrounds and identities. A new Director for the Diversity Center was hired in October (spring–fall 2021).
  • DEI Innovation Fund—A $200,000 fund has been established to engage our community in developing ideas that support a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable learning and working environment at Butler. Nine proposals were approved for a total of $115,000 in 2021 (spring 2021).
  • President’s Council on DEI—A council including nearly 20 faculty, students, staff and alumni are serving in an advisory capacity to the President on matters related to diversity, equity and inclusion at the University (spring 2021).
  • Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement—Under the leadership of Dr. Terri Jett, the Hub will be focused on the lives and experiences of the Black community at Butler, through creation of affinity groups, a collaborative fellows program, Black student support initiatives, and connection with visiting black intellectuals. Further, the Hub will create opportunities for engagement with the greater Indianapolis community (fall 2020).
  • ONB Center DEI Initiative—The ONB Center for Business Excellence launched a phased initiative that intends to strengthen and support privately held businesses owned by underrepresented groups throughout Indiana by connecting them with the resources and support they need to succeed (fall 2020).
  • BUnited—Butler Athletics established BUnited as a department-wide initiative focused on empathy, education and experience. Its mission is Building Unity Through Leadership, Education and Respect (fall 2020).
  • Operational Growth & Excellence—Butler partnered with Huron Consulting Group across three interrelated areas: administrative, academic and growth. Huron, with Butler’s input and direction, has developed evidence-based recommendations and data tools that build on Butler’s position of strength and guide further refinement of key administrative, academic, and growth-related strategic initiatives. Those recommendations are being further evaluated, prioritized and tested for implementation.
  • Butler Beyond Campaign eclipses its campaign goal of $250M—As of late April, Butler had exceeded its campaign goal, raising over $263.6M. Included in those gifts were two significant contributions to capital projects, which resulted in the naming of Dugan Hall and the Levinson Family Hall.
  • Sciences Renovation Project—The new 44,000-square-foot Sciences Expansion building opens as Phase I of a $100 million investment in the University’s sciences facilities. Phase II, a complete top-to-bottom renovation of Gallahue Hall is scheduled to be complete in January of 2023. Learn more about Butler’s new sciences complex here.
  • New Broadcast Commercial—A new Butler broadcast commercial, and campaign, launched on Friday, December 17. The campaign theme is “We’re changing what it means to be a university” to further amplify our Butler Beyond Strategy. The commercial will have widespread placement, including usage by the BIG EAST and our student-focused advertising on YouTube, Connected TV, Spotify, Facebook/Instagram, and more. We’re also producing supporting/complementary videos on the topics of experiential learning, student-centered education, and innovation for use in our undergraduate digital efforts (December 2021).
  • Office of Strategic Engagement—The newly formed Office of Strategic Engagement is established to elevate the University’s local, national, and global influence as a leader in higher education (October 2021).
  • No.1 Regional University—For the fourth consecutive year, Butler University is named the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings (September 2021).
  • NCAA Tournament Host—Hinkle Fieldhouse served as one of six host sites in central Indiana, playing host to 16 games of the 2021 men’s NCAA basketball tournament. The University received significant, positive media coverage and attention throughout the country and beyond (March 2021).
  • Netflix’s DOGS Series—Blue III and Blue IV featured in episode of Netflix’s DOGS (July 2021).
  • Community Impact Study—A community impact study is underway which will evaluate and measure the various ways Butler contributes to the local community. It will also produce a dashboard for continual assessment of where and how Butler makes an impact (summer 2021).
  • Brand Equity Study—We recently surveyed prospective undergraduate students and parents, and prospective graduate students, to measure brand equity (awareness, familiarity, and consideration) and test key messages. This is the fourth consecutive measurement cycle for prospective undergraduate students, and the first for prospective graduate students (to determine a baseline).