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Aerial View of Campus in the Fall
Butler 2020

2020 Progress Updates


Objective: Maintain and Enhance Student Engagement in High Impact Educational Practices
  • Butler continues to work with outstanding students to secure prestigious scholarships. In recent years, the University had one Goldwater Scholar (2017–2018), five Fulbright recipients (2017–2018), and three Fulbright UK Summer Institute recipients (2017).
  • Butler’s rate of student internship participation has increased significantly over the past five years. The average number of students completing internships each year has risen from 479 (2008–2013) to 754 (2013–2018).
  • Butler initiated a study abroad fair that allows students to learn about all faculty-led (and other) study abroad programs at once, rather than piecemeal.
  • Butler received a continuation grant from the Freeman Foundation to expand the University’s Summer in Asia internship opportunity for students.
  • Butler’s budgets to support the Butler Summer Institute (BSI) were augmented in an effort to support student-faculty collaborative research and to make BSI a more viable opportunity for more students. In addition, a budget increase was applied for student travel-to-present funds to allow more students to travel to professional conferences to present their research.
  • Butler had a total of 274 students study abroad in 2011–2012. In 2017–2018, the University had 531 students study abroad. This represents a significant increase over and above the growth in student enrollment during this same time.
  • Butler has more than doubled the number of faculty led study abroad programs, from 11 to 24, since 2011–2012. In addition, relationships allowing for semester long, direct exchange with institutions abroad rose from 16 in 2011–2012 to 27 in 2017–2018.
Objective: Demonstrate continued excellence in student outcomes
  • Butler performed exceptionally well in the 2016 and 2018 Gallup-Purdue Index, with graduates ranking their collegiate experiences higher than state and national averages across the vast majority of categories, including connection to the alma mater, engagement at work, and all forms of well-being.
  • Butler’s first-year to second-year retention rate has remained strong, averaging around 90 percent consistently over the past five years.
  • Butler’s six-year graduation rate has been on an upward trend across time, from 73 percent for the classes entering in 2004–2006 to a current all-time high of 81 percent for the class entering in 2012 (the most recent class for which we have a six-year graduation rate).
Objective: Achieve the optimized mix of new and existing academic programs
  • Butler has launched 18 new majors and 11 new minors over the past six years including a new Statistics major and Neuroscience minor.
  • Butler launched non-degree certificates through Executive Education, including the innovative Kenzie Academy-Butler certificate.
  • Butler’s Lacy School of Business introduced an online Master of Science in Risk and Insurance (MSRI) program—among the first of its kind in the nation—with the first cohort beginning in January 2019.
  • Butler’s faculty approved an addition to the Core Curriculum—the Social Justice and Diversity requirement. Faculty development is under way, and the requirement will not be "turned on" until the University is certain we have enough courses to serve the student need.
  • Butler’s summer online/hybrid program has seen an increase each year since its introduction in both the number of online/hybrid courses offered and the number of students enrolled in those courses. The increase has not taken away from the University’s face-to-face summer program and has added approximately $5.7 million in revenue over the past five summers.
  • Butler invested in infrastructure to support graduate education programs, including upgrades to PeopleSoft and the Registrar's office, development and hire of the Director of Academic Program Development and Innovation, introduction of a revenue-share agreement, and creation of Graduate Council.
  • Butler faculty approved the online Doctor of Medical Science degree. The University is awaiting approval from the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Butler introduced graduate, non-degree certificates as a new level of educational offering.
Objective: Promote Faculty Excellence
  • Butler received a grant that allowed a cohort of 44 faculty in liberal arts disciplines to participate in the Council of Independent College's Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance. Faculty participants complete an online course on pedagogical development, including ways to incorporate career discernment into liberal arts coursework. Faculty participants will receive a certificate from the American Council on Education after completing the course.
  • Butler received a grant through the Council of Independent Colleges Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education to support faculty efforts to integrate vocational reflection into Social Justice and Diversity designated courses
  • Approximately 40 percent of Butler’s full-time faculty have been trained to teach in online or hybrid formats. This training supports our summer online and hybrid program, the Risk and Insurance master’s program, and the forthcoming Doctor of Medical Science program.


Objective: Advance Butler's national reputation, increasing brand equity index 15 percent by 2020
  • Butler moved into a tie for the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings. Additionally, Butler was ranked the No. 1 Most Innovative School among Midwest Regional Universities for the fourth straight year, as well as the top school for its commitment to undergraduate teaching.
  • Butler was recognized by The Princeton Review in 2018 as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education and was one of five schools to be profiled in the education services company’s guidebook—The Best 384 Colleges.
  • Butler launched a new brand in 2015 and developed a baseline for the Butler brand in 2016 with goals to increase Butler’s national reputation every two years. Prospective students, and other key audiences such as prospective parents and Butler graduates, are surveyed to determine how far Butler’s reputation is advancing in key geographical areas.
  • Butler has been featured in national news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, three of which were included on the front page; New York Times front page of business section; Washington Post twice; Harvard Business JournalNPRAssociated PressNBC Nightly News; and USA Today.
Objective: Increase Undergraduate enrollment to 4700 students by 2020–2021
  • Interest in Butler has been on the rise throughout the last decade. Since 2009, applications to the University have increased by 163 percent. For example, in 2015, Butler received 9,942 applications, compared to 16,431 in 2018.
  • Butler, for the second time in three years, welcomed its largest class ever in 2018. Sixty percent of the incoming class consists of out-of-state students, while 17 percent of the class is multicultural.
  • Butler’s international recruitment efforts include travel focused in South America and Southeast Asia. This aligns with a commitment to enhance a global education experience for all students.
  • Butler’s institutional efforts to promote student success, retention, and completion evolved over the last two years with an analysis of trend data that helped to prioritize initiatives including a focus on first generation student outreach.
Objective: Complete Butler's largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign by 2022
  • Butler aligned the University Advancement structure, resource allocation, and stated campaign priorities with University strategic objectives.
  • Butler finalized and is currently executing on a comprehensive staff development and retention plan.
  • Butler finalized and is currently executing on a Business Information Roadmap.
  • Butler’s Office of University Advancement developed and secured Trustee approval of major campaign policies prior to campaign public launch (Donor naming policy, campaign gift counting guidelines, gift acceptance policy, etc.)
  • Butler has raised 55.1 percent of the University’s campaign goal.*
  • Butler’s Lacy School of Business building has raised 45.79 percent of the University’s goal.*
  • Butler’s Sciences addition and renovation project has raised 54.74 percent of the University’s goal.*
  • Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse Renovation Phase II has raised 72.48 percent of the University’s goal.*

*Progress reported as of November 28, 2018


Objective: Achieve infrastructure milestones in alignment with 10-year growth targets
  • Over the summer of 2018, considerable work was done in the aftermath of Butler’s expansion to include the 35-acre Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) campus. What is now referred to as ‘South Campus’ is the new home of Butler’s College of Education (COE), providing the University with exceptional, state-of-the-art learning, teaching, and gathering space. The new space on South Campus will provide Butler with many exciting opportunities yet to come.
  • Butler students now have two new residence halls to call home—Fairview and Irvington House. Both contemporary facilities continue to enhance Butler’s residential experience, and come equipped with spaces to study, exercise, and convene with fellow students.
  • Butler is currently constructing a new 110,000-square foot business building featuring collaborative classrooms and workspaces to accommodate the Lacy School’s growing enrollment and long-term vision to foster further interaction between Lacy School students and the business community. The building is scheduled for completion in April 2019.
  • Butler’s Sciences Addition and Renovation project is ready to begin once funding is in place.
  • Butler completed an initial deferred maintenance study. Approximately $30 million in deferred maintenance projects have been completed including—electrical/data/telecom, chilled water plant, Atherton kitchen, window replacement in Pharmacy, Atherton/ResCo/Irwin roofs, Irwin skylight, HVAC systems, etc. Another deferred maintenance study update is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019.
Objective: Achieve average annual operating margin of 3-4 percent
  • Butler has realized a 3-4 percent operating budget margin in three of the five years since 2013–2014; 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 were two of the three years. 
  • Butler implemented $1.5 million in division budget reductions in 2018–2019 to permanently help improve the 2018–2019 budget which is currently budgeted at a 1.0 percent operating margin. This will be the first time Butler has budgeted for an operating margin.
  • Butler will manage total operating expense growth to ensure University expenses are not growing at a faster rate than its revenue. This is an ongoing and fluid process which will sustain the University’s operating margin potential.
Objective: Improve organizational excellence index at Butler University by 2020
  • Butler’s Human Resources team created a learning and growth program for supervisors who currently supervise full-time and regular part-time staff (BEST 1.0) in 2017. HR also initiated Diversity and Inclusion training for staff and faculty. All HR and compliance training including Title IX training has now been integrated with Moodle, thereby streamlining the launch and management of all HR training.
  • Butler partnered with the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) to provide financial assistance to help employees purchase or improve a home near campus. Since starting the program in 2017, 10 employees received funding that allowed them to purchase seven homes and renovate three others.
  • Butler started a Compensation and Classification study in 2017 in an effort to create a more competitive organization. A staff pay structure comprising 11 pay bands has been established. Faculty positions have also been benchmarked against medians based on the discipline and rank. 
  • Butler’s Human Resources team launched an online applicant tracking system for all staff recruitment thus making the hiring and onboarding process more efficient and effective for both applicants and internal users.