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coronavirus information for the Butler Community
Covid-19 Information for the Butler Community

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Communications

January 22, 2021—Spring 2021 Return To Campus Webinar

return to campus spring 2021 webinar videoAs students return to campus and we finish preparations for the start of the Spring 2021 semester, we thought you might appreciate an update about our ongoing efforts to promote health and safety on our campus.

Please join President James M. Danko, Director of Health Services Rhonda Jackson, VP for Student Affairs Frank E. Ross, and Chief of Staff Brent Rockwood for this 20-minute, pre-recorded discussion on a variety of topics, including:

  • COVID-19 Entry Testing Results to Date
  • New COVID-19 Ongoing Testing Throughout the Semester
  • New Quarantine Protocols
  • Resuming Student Activities
  • Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • New BUBeWell Weekend—March 13–14, 2021
  • Metrics Considered When Deciding to Keep Campus Open

The Spring 2021 Return To Campus Webinar is available for viewing now on Butler’s YouTube channel. Please subscribe to our channel to ensure you receive notifications about future Butler University video updates.

Please direct any questions about the webinar or our efforts to keep campus healthy to Additional information about our efforts can be found at, and information about quarantine and isolation protocols can be found at

January 6, 2021—Important Updates for the Spring Semester

Dear Butler Students and Families,

Happy New Year! In advance of your return to campus for the spring semester, we have some very important information to share with you. 

COVID-19 Entry Testing

Butler University is requiring all students to receive a COVID-19 rapid antigen test (nasal swab) on campus before returning to on-campus housing, participating in any on-campus activities, or attending in-person classes. 

  • All undergraduate students will need to schedule an appointment for testing by logging in to the Residence Life Portal and clicking on the Spring 2021 COVID-19 Testing link in the top bar of the page. As we communicated in November, all undergraduate students will need to schedule an appointment for testing by January 9, 2021 at 5:00 PM. If you do not schedule your appointment to be tested, walk-in appointments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on Sunday, January 24, from 9:00 AM–4:00 PM. 
  • All graduate students will need to come to campus for a walk-in appointment on Sunday, January 24. Given the volume of student tests scheduled each day, walk-ins will not be allowed on any other day. If graduate students have academic work that begins prior to January 24, they should contact Health Services after it reopens on January 11 to schedule an appointment.

Your test results will be available approximately 90 minutes after you take your test. You can access your test results by logging on to your Butler Health Portal at and clicking on “View My Lab Results.” 

Students who receive negative results:

  • After receiving a negative test result, residential students will need to enter the south entrance of the HRC (by Health Services) to receive a wristband. They will then be checked in and receive their keys. At that point they can return to their residence hall or on-campus apartment.  
  • Students who live in Greek houses will also need to return to the south entrance of the HRC to receive a wristband prior to moving in to their fraternity or sorority. 

Students who receive positive results:

  • After receiving a positive test result, students will need to immediately isolate themselves from others by moving in to Ross Hall or returning to their permanent residences. Butler Health Services will contact these students to provide further information. All positive results from the rapid antigen test will be followed up with a PCR test to confirm the result. 

If you are sick or experiencing any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, do not return to campus for your scheduled test. Instead, report your symptoms via the new Daily Health Screening at (more information about the new Daily Health Screen is provided below) and get tested by your local healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

Note: In an effort to help keep our campus safe, family members, friends, and helpers will not be allowed access into the residence halls for any reason.

NEW Process for Daily Health Screen

To help ensure the health and safety of our campus community, students will be required to complete daily health screenings (COVID symptom self-assessments) via: The process for submitting your daily health screening is different this semester, so we produced this quick video tutorial to teach you how to navigate the website and submit the health screen. 

The daily health screen is a critical component of our health and safety plans because it allows us to detect symptomatic students, and take preventative measures through contact tracing, quarantining, and testing of exposed students, faculty, and staff. This semester, students will be issued a badge every day upon completion of the health screen, the color of which will represent your health status for the day. You will be required to show your badge for entrance to campus dining, the Health and Recreation Complex (HRC), Hinkle Fieldhouse, and other common areas on campus. Additionally, faculty members may ask to see your badge prior to class. 

You are required to begin submitting daily health screenings 72 hours prior to returning to campus. Students who take all classes virtually and do not visit campus during the semester are not required to submit daily health screenings.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 at any time and have not reported it to Butler University, you must do so before returning to campus. Having this information will allow us to exclude positive cases from our ongoing COVID-19 testing for up to three months after the diagnosis, per the CDC’s guidance. You can report your positive test by completing the daily health screening or by contacting Health Services at

Ongoing COVID-19 Testing throughout the Spring Semester

Our approach has been to quickly identify and isolate positive cases, quarantine close contacts, and aggressively test around the positive cases—which includes testing symptomatic students, as well as asymptomatic students in quarantine and close contact to those in quarantine. This targeted approach in the fall semester helped us mitigate the spread of the virus on our campus. 

In addition to the COVID-19 testing strategy outlined above, we will expand our regular, ongoing testing of all students throughout the spring semester. This will allow us to gather key information to evaluate the prevalence and incidence of the virus on our campus and to help inform our decision-making. We will communicate more details about our approach in the weeks ahead. 

Student Commitment for Personal and Community Well-being

All students will once again be required to sign a Student Commitment, accepting personal responsibility for their role in keeping our campus community safe. The Student Commitment has been updated with more detailed information as we prepare for the spring semester. Please read the document carefully before signing. Students found responsible for violating these policies and protocols will be subject to discipline up to and including suspension.

COVID-19 Communications

We are in the process of developing a new page on our website with updated information about our return to campus, links for daily health screenings, COVID-19 dashboard, and FAQs. We will also be hosting webinars for students and their families, faculty, and staff before the start of the spring semester to review important information and answer your questions. We will provide the webinar details in a separate communication. 

Butler University is currently closed and will reopen January 11, 2021. If you have an urgent question that needs to be answered before then, please send it to

We want to wish you and your loved ones a safe and healthy new year. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus later this month. 

November 20, 2020—Free COVID-19 Testing on Campus November 23 and 24

Dear Butler Community,

In addition to the COVID-19 testing options we announced earlier this week, we are pleased to share that the University is providing a free COVID-19 testing option for students and employees leading up to the Thanksgiving break. This new testing option, called the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Test (nasal swab), was just recently made available to us by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). 

Next week, on November 23 and 24, we will administer the tests for asymptomatic Butler students and employees at Hinkle Fieldhouse in the Efroymson Gym between the hours of 9:00 AM–noon and 1:00–4:00 PM. Students and employees need to bring their Butler ID and driver’s license, and they can walk in anytime within the scheduled timeframes (no appointments). The on-campus tests will be available first-come, first-served within the scheduled testing windows. We will test as many students and employees as possible within the time allotted.

Prior to arriving at Hinkle, you must download the NAVICA app on your mobile device and create an account using your Butler email address. You will receive a unique QR code that will be scanned at the testing site and paired with your test results, so make sure to have your phone with you when you arrive at Hinkle.

These screenings are only available for students and employees who are not experiencing symptoms. Students who are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms should immediately contact Butler Health Services by calling 317-940-9385. This test is also not recommended for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

We realize that many students have already made arrangements to participate in the off-campus COVID-19 testing option offered through Dr. Aziz Pharmacy. The new testing option is an additional resource for students and employees prior to the Thanksgiving break. 

When will I receive my test results?
You will receive your test results the same day via the NAVICA app, under the “My Results” tab. You will be alerted via email and an app notification when your test results are available.

What should I do if I receive a positive result?

All positive results from the BinaxNOW test should be considered as presumptive positive and should be followed up with a PCR test to confirm the result. Given the timing of administering these tests as we complete the in-person semester, Butler will be unable to offer PCR tests or conduct contact tracing for those who receive presumptive positive results. Indiana testing options can be found here.

Those who receive a positive result should physically isolate themselves from others for 10 days following the test, as well as notify anyone with whom they came in close contact during the 48 hours prior to the screening.

What should I do if I receive a negative result?

Testing results are not perfect, so it is important to continue taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19: continuing to wear a mask, avoiding social gatherings whenever possible, and keeping your distance from others—especially those who are at higher risk.                                   

If you are asymptomatic and have questions about this screening option, please contact If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, contact Butler Health Services immediately.

November 17, 2020—Optional COVID-19 Testing Available, Starting Wednesday

Dear Butler Students and Families, 

For any students interested in COVID-19 testing before leaving campus for the Winter Break, this message contains important information about available testing options.

Dr. Aziz Pharmacy has offered COVID-19 rapid antigen testing (nasal swab) for Butler students starting Wednesday, November 18. They are offering a Butler student discount of $69 (regular price $115) payable in cash or by check or credit card. Dr. Aziz Pharmacy is unable to accept health insurance.

Other testing sites near Butler’s campus which may accept health insurance or are free to Indiana residents can be found here. Please note the testing requirements for each location. Students should choose whichever location and payment option works best for them.

Please note that you can receive a negative test result if the sample was collected too early in the infection cycle, and you can contract the virus anytime after the sample is collected. Therefore, even with a negative test result, students should follow our health and safety requirements at all times and should keep public interactions to a minimum to avoid possible exposure before returning to their permanent residences.

Note: Any student who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, has been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, or receives a positive COVID-19 test result is required to notify Butler Health Services immediately. 

How can students get tested at Dr. Aziz Pharmacy? 

  • Testing with Dr. Aziz Pharmacy (located at 7320 E 82nd St. in Indianapolis) will be available: 
    • 2:00–4:00 PM daily from Wednesday, November 18–Friday, November 20
    • 2:00–4:00 PM on Monday, November 23, and Tuesday, November 24
  • To schedule an appointment, register as soon as possible by visiting and clicking on the “Register for COVID-19 Exit Testing” link in the blue banner at the top of the page, or by clicking “COVID-19 Exit Testing” on the “More” screen in the Butler App (Note: You will be prompted to authenticate with Google using your Butler University credentials).
    • Make sure to register for a testing appointment by midnight (EST) the night before the desired testing day. (For example, register by Tuesday at midnight for testing on Wednesday.)
    • The number of tests available each hour is capped at 100. Appointments are available first-come, first-served until registration is full, so please register as soon as possible. 
  • Students should plan to arrive at Dr. Aziz Pharmacy within the scheduled hour time slot and as close to the top of the hour as possible. Students will be tested in the order in which they arrive.
    • Upon arrival, pull through the drive-thru and park in the spots just beyond the drive-thru area. 
    • Once parked, enter the testing facility through the doors under the blue awning. Be sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times.

When will students receive test results?

Any student who tests positive will receive a phone call the same day by 7:00 PM. No news is good news—only those who test positive will receive a phone call. Documentation of test results can be provided upon request. 

How can students secure transportation to Dr. Aziz Pharmacy? 

For students who do not have vehicles on campus, Butler’s Student Government Association (SGA) has made arrangements to provide free Uber rides to Dr. Aziz Pharmacy. To use this service, students should enroll in the Butler University SGA Uber Account by following the steps below. Any questions about this transportation option should be directed to Jesse Neader, Director for the Office of Student Activities (

  • To enroll in the Butler University SGA Uber Account, start by downloading the Uber App. If you don’t have an Uber account, you will need to create a new one before you can connect with the Butler University SGA account.
    • NOTE: Students must log in to Uber using their Butler email address to gain access to this service. Accounts linked to personal email addresses cannot be charged to SGA.
  • Find your Uber Invitation. Students were invited to join the Butler University SGA account on Thursday, November 12, 2020 via email. Students can only enroll using the unique link provided in this email received from Uber. (Forwarded links won’t work.)
    • If you are unable to locate the original invitation from Uber, or if you encounter issues, please contact the Office of Student Activities at
  • Verify enrollment in the Butler University SGA Uber Account. Butler students can verify that they have successfully linked to the Butler University SGA Uber account from within the Uber app.
    • On the main screen, tap the menu icon.
    • Select “Wallet,” and scroll down to “Ride profiles.”
    • The Butler University SGA account should be listed.
  • Butler University SGA Approved Trips: Only trips between approved locations can be charged to the Butler University SGA Uber account. Trips must be scheduled on approved dates and during approved hours. Pick-up is available anywhere on campus. Students wishing to be tested for COVID-19 before Winter Break will receive oneround trip from Butler University to Dr. Aziz Pharmacy (7320 East 82nd Street Indianapolis, Indiana, 46256). Trips are available November 18, 19, 20, 23, and 24, between the hours of 1:00–5:00 PM.

If you have any questions, please email

November 12, 2020—Urgent COVID-19 Update from Student Affairs

Dear Butler Students and Families, 

Butler University has made the difficult but necessary decision to restrict student life activities for the last two weeks of the fall semester, effective immediately. Please note the following:

  • In-person classes will continue through November 24, unless your professor has announced an alternative approach for the remainder of the semester. This includes classes, internships, performances, and other experiential placements. 
  • All in-person student life activities will be suspended until next semester.
  • All meals from campus dining locations will be served to-go.
  • Students should not socialize in groups of more than four people, and we strongly encourage gatherings to occur outdoors, as much as possible, with face masks and social distancing at all times.   
  • All athletic activities except for men's and women's basketball, which are in-season with competition, are canceled until the return to campus for spring semester.
  • Irwin Library and other common spaces will remain open for individual studying, small-group projects (involving no more than four students, socially distanced), and other academic needs.

Rationale: This change is based on the rising cases of COVID-19, both on campus and in the surrounding community. We are restricting the activities that have been linked to the spread of COVID-19 on our campus, many of which are related to student interactions outside of the classroom. Importantly, because teaching and learning is foundational to our mission, and we have no evidence of spread of the virus in academic contexts, we are doing everything possible to maintain our in-person educational experiences through the end of the semester.

Academic Expectations: Our campus remains open and we continue to offer in-person educational experiences. Therefore the expectation is that students remain on campus and attend classes in person as required through the end of the semester unless identified by Health Services as requiring isolation or quarantine. Please note that faculty are NOT required to accommodate students’ preferences to leave campus before the end of the semester. 

Exit Testing: Many students and parents have asked if it would be possible for Butler to facilitate testing for students prior to their departure from campus. I am pleased to report that we have arranged for an off-campus doctor to offer rapid COVID-19 testing for Butler students (for a fee) before leaving campus. More information will be sent to you next week.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at Thank you for your shared commitment to the health and safety of our campus and your local communities as you return home for Thanksgiving. 


Frank E. Ross III, PhD
Pronouns: he, him, his
Vice President for Student Affairs

October 7, 2020—Winter Commencement, Spring Study Abroad, and DC Learning Semester

Dear Butler Community,

Due to continued COVID-related concerns, we have made the difficult decision to reschedule the Winter Commencement ceremony originally planned for December 18. We have also suspended all spring 2021 study abroad programs, as well as the Washington, DC Learning Semester. 

We know that our students have worked hard for these opportunities, so we share their disappointment caused by this announcement. As we continue to manage the pandemic, our top priority is the health and safety of our campus community.


Commencement for May, August, and December 2020 graduates—along with May 2021 graduates—will now be held in a series of Commencement ceremonies that will take place on May 8 and 9, 2021. We regret that this is another change of plans for our May 2020 graduates and their families; however, we continue to endeavor to provide them with the appropriate recognition of the conferral of their degrees.

By rescheduling Winter Commencement for May, we are hopeful for fewer governmental restrictions on large events. A spring event will also allow for more options, including the potential for outdoor activities. We look forward to celebrating all of our 2020 graduates and spring 2021 graduates in person at the Commencement ceremony. 

More information about the combined ceremonies will be shared soon.

Study Abroad and DC Learning Semester

Considerable uncertainty remains for spring 2021 in terms of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, as well as the safety and viability of these programs. All students who planned to participate in spring study abroad or the Washington, DC Learning Semester have already been contacted with more information.

Faculty and staff are working hard to create a full complement of summer programs. Students can begin their planning now by visiting our Virtual Study Abroad Fair this week and taking a look at the list of Summer 2021 Programs.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to email us at Thank you for your flexibility and understanding.

September 18, 2020—Announcement of Spring Academic Calendar

Dear Butler Students and Families,

I am writing to share important updates regarding changes to Butler University's Spring 2021 academic calendar, and an upcoming deadline to request fully remote status for the spring semester.  

Spring 2021 Academic Calendar

Just as we did this fall, we are removing breaks from the spring semester academic calendar to minimize the number of times students come and go from campus. The key dates for the revised spring semester are below, and I urge you to make note of them. The full revised academic calendar can be found here.

  • Monday, January 25:  First day of class
  • Tuesday, April 27:  Last day of class
  • Wednesday, April 28:  Reading Day
  • Thursday, April 29; Friday, April 30; Saturday, May 1; Monday, May 3; Tuesday, May 4:  Final Exams
  • Saturday, May 8:  Commencement

Additional information will be forthcoming from our Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Frank E. Ross, about students’ return to campus in January. That communication will also include details about fraternity and sorority recruitment. Given the new spring academic calendar, the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council will be finalizing spring semester recruitment plans soon. Please stay tuned for more updates regarding student life from Dr. Ross.

Fully Remote Status for Spring Semester

Students who wish to pursue a fully remote status for spring semester must declare this intention to their associate dean via email by Thursday, October 15. 

We have developed an improved process to match students who wish to be remote with online courses for the spring semester. This process is predicated on students declaring their intention by October 15. We will not be able to accommodate students desiring fully remote status after that point. The associate dean names and emails are listed below.

Please understand that although we do our best to accommodate student requests for fully remote schedules, we cannot guarantee that all students are able to secure a fully remote schedule. This is especially true for students pursuing majors that include lab, production, and performance courses, programs that require certain experiential components that can be completed only in person, and graduate/professional programs.

Thank you for your attention to these important spring semester matters.


Dr. Morris

Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

September 1, 2020—Fall Semester Update: Resuming Select Activities

Dear Butler Community,

I am pleased to share that after consideration of the most recent COVID-19 data and consultation with health experts, we will commence in-person instruction for undergraduate students on Monday, September 7.

In addition, we will resume select building access for undergraduate students and in-person studio instruction for dance majors, effective Wednesday, September 2.

  • Undergraduate Student Access to Select Academic Facilities. Undergraduate students will have ID card access to these facilities to use individual and small group spaces for studying and/or taking remote classes. Please follow social distancing expectations and wear your masks at all times. 
    • Irwin Library will be open to all students Wednesday, September 2 to Friday, September 4 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday, September 6 from 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM.  
    • The Business Building will be open to all students Wednesday, September 2 to Friday, September 4 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Butler Brew, located in the Business Building, will be open regular hours beginning Thursday, September 3. 
    • The Atherton Union Reilly Room remains open for student study space from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.  
    • Beginning Monday, September 7, students will have access to all academic buildings from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
    • Also beginning Monday, September 7, the following rooms are available for late night study from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM: Jordan Hall 201, 203, 205, 207, 208, 216, 220, 225, 301, 303, 305, 307, 335A, 335B, 336B, 336C, 337, 338, 340, 342, 344, 346, 348 (computer lab), 370, 372. Requests for use of these classroom spaces may be requested via EMS (online room booking system).  
  • In-person studio instruction for dance majors. In August, the majority of our returning dance majors came to campus two weeks early for an in-person, intensive program that included strict health and safety protocols. Given students’ adherence to these protocols, coupled with the nature of dance instruction, we are resuming in-person studio classes for dance majors beginning Wednesday, September 2. All other in-person undergraduate instruction will resume on Monday, September 7.  

These adjustments to the plan announced on August 23 are possible based on careful consideration of campus and local community metrics related to viral spread.  

However, given the complex and unpredictable nature of the virus, our in-person learning will require the continued vigilance of every member of our campus community in order to be sustainable and successful. To this end, we want to remind you to continue following all health and safety guidelines. Please wear a mask at all times when in the presence of others, maintain a distance of at least six feet, and interact with small social groupsAnswer your phone even if an unknown number calls, and cooperate with any contact tracer who reaches out to you. 

Utilize the COVID Concern reporting feature to alert University staff to violations of the Student Commitment for Personal and Community Well-being so they can be addressed appropriately.

We will continue updating the Student Health and Safety Plan and FAQs with other campus updates as they become available. Thank you for your efforts and cooperation to make an on-campus fall semester possible. Keep up the good work. We’re all in this together! 


Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

August 28, 2020—Update from President Danko as First Week of Virtual Instruction Concludes

Dear Butler Community, 

As the first week of the new academic year comes to a close, I would like to extend my gratitude for the way in which our community has responded to the decision that all undergraduate instruction would occur remotely for the first two weeks of the semester. Our faculty and staff quickly jumped into action, modifying educational approaches, and our students demonstrated a willingness to work together toward a shared goal of an in-person fall semester. I know this has been a challenging adjustment for all of you. 

I appreciate the many positive messages of support for the decision, along with a few notes of concern or disagreement with our approach. Regardless as to whether you agree or not, your input is valuable as we work to navigate our way through a complex situation that does not lend itself to a definitive approach or predictability.  

I am confident that our quick intervention last weekend prevented a more serious spread of the virus on campus and we are now seeing a more stable positivity rate. It has been encouraging to see so many of our students become more vigilant about compliance with our safety measures and behavioral expectations, although some students were held accountable for lack of compliance, including probation and suspension.

Overall, I am optimistic that an in-person educational experience for our students remains quite possible. Let me share some highlights with you.

  • At this point, we are aware of 53 students and no employees who have active cases of COVID-19. All individuals who have tested positive will complete the mandatory self-isolation protocols before returning to campus. Currently, nine of these students are isolating at Ross Hall, where Student Affairs staff are providing them with support; the remainder are isolating at their permanent residences.
  • As reported today on our COVID-19 Dashboard, we have conducted more than 5,100 COVID-19 tests with a total positivity rate of roughly 1 percent. As previously stated, we had a 0.5 percent positivity rate through August 19 and we saw our positivity rate increase to roughly 2 percent over a few days due to non-compliant behaviors.  
  • We implemented a COVID Concerns Report Process to help us identify members of our community who are engaging in behaviors that may compromise a successful fall semester. This has enabled us to intervene and address concerns swiftly. 
  • We are utilizing a holistic approach in our monitoring efforts, including a set of external metrics (e.g., State and Marion County positivity rates, local hospital capacity, etc.) and internal metrics (e.g., positive on-campus cases, testing and contact tracing capacity, efficiency and effectiveness, access to supplies, and campus compliance). 

My own daily campus walks and interactions with our students convince me that the vast majority of students are doing their best to support our safety efforts. It is also clear how difficult it is to suppress the natural human tendency to congregate and relax in the presence of each other, especially for college students living and learning together. However, we are confronting a highly contagious virus that thrives on gatherings of people, thus, we must continue to be mindful of basic behavioral precautions: consistent wearing of masks whenever you are around others, indoors, and outdoors, maintaining social distancing, and practicing good hygiene. 

Also, remember to complete your daily health check-up before you leave your residence and comply with all contact tracing efforts—these are critical steps to control the spread of the virus. Check your email often and answer your phone from unknown numbers in the event it’s a contract tracer calling you to share that you have been exposed to someone who is positive for the virus. 

Thank you for your understanding, your input, and your support as we move forward together during a very challenging time. 


James M. Danko
President, Butler University

August 25, 2020—Student Expectations During Remote Learning

Dear Butler Students,

In light of yesterday’s announcement that we are beginning the semester with two weeks of remote instruction for undergraduate students, I wanted to provide clarification regarding our expectations during this time and respond to questions we have been receiving from many of you. 

While we understand the desire some of you might have to return home during this time of remote learning, please refrain from doing so. The purpose of this modified “shelter-in-place” protocol is to contain current cases of COVID-19 and to reduce the chance of community spread on our campus. The risk of new cases increases each time students leave and return to campus. Furthermore, the next two weeks will provide time for our staff to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community and engage in effective contact tracing. These efforts are greatly complicated by students coming and going from campus.

During the next two weeks we will continue addressing violations of the Student Commitment for Personal and Community Well-being, which you agreed to before coming to campus, and giving you an opportunity to demonstrate your willingness to comply with these new protocols. We will also be adding additional staff to assist with our contract tracing efforts. Once we have data to show the virus is contained and students are complying with campus behavior expectations, we can resume with in-person instruction.

As we mentioned in yesterday’s webinar, we took the decisive action of moving to online instruction for the next two weeks based upon analysis of all the data available to us and out of a deep desire to preserve our chances of continuing with our planned in-person fall semester. 

We recognize that the vast majority of you are following the guidelines and doing what is asked of you in order to enjoy an in-person classroom experience this fall. I want to reiterate that we are committed to doing everything in our power to make that happen, which was the prime motivation behind this decision. We will be closely monitoring the data and student behavior over the next two weeks. Once we can feel confident the risk to you and to our faculty has been reduced, we will look forward to resuming in-person undergraduate instruction.

For answers to specific questions related to retrieving your textbooks and other topics during this time, please continue to visit the FAQ page, which is being updated regularly with the latest information.

Stay safe, mask up, and remember we are all in this together!

Frank E. Ross III, PhD
Pronouns: he, him, él
Vice President for Student Affairs

August 23, 2020—Urgent Fall Semester Update from Butler Leadership

Dear Butler Students and Families,

We are writing to inform you that we have made the difficult, but necessary, decision that although our campus will remain residential, all undergraduate instruction will occur remotely for the first two weeks of the semester. Please note that graduate instruction will proceed as originally planned, including P3 and P4 students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

We will be conducting a webinar to share further information this evening, Sunday, August 23, from 6:00-7:00 PM EDT with undergraduate students and their families. You can access the webinar on our website here

The University utilizes a matrix of external and internal metrics to monitor the spread of COVID-19 on our campus to ensure data-informed decisions. Our decision to start the semester remotely for undergraduate courses was made for three primary reasons.

  • A lack of compliance with health and safety guidelines. Although most students have been following our new protocols to promote the well-being of our campus community, there have been ongoing violations by a small percentage of students, including violating quarantine and self-isolation protocols, not responding truthfully to the Daily Health Checkup, not complying with contact tracing efforts, and hosting or attending on- and off-campus parties. This has resulted in approximately 50 students to date who are being charged with violations of the Student Commitment for Personal and Community Well-being. Students found in violation of our expectations will be sanctioned, up to and including removal from campus.
  • An increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate. The University required all students to be tested on campus prior to moving into on-campus housing or attending their first class. While we had roughly a 0.5 percent positivity rate from our entry testing up through Wednesday, August 19, since that time our positivity rate has increased to roughly two percent. In addition, an increasing number of students have reported COVID-19 symptoms, and we are able to link these increases in confirmed positive cases and symptomatic individuals to the non-compliant behaviors mentioned above. 
  • Predictive measures from our contact tracing process. To date, our contact tracing efforts have identified approximately 75 students who have been identified as close contacts of a positive case, and placed in quarantine as a preventative measure. Thus, we may reasonably anticipate further increases in students who will test positive for COVID-19 among those currently in quarantine.

As a result of these indicators, we need to take decisive action to prevent the exponential spread of the virus that has occurred at other campuses and to protect our students, faculty, and staff from further spread of illness. 

During this two-week period of time, students will be following a modified “shelter in place” protocol. In particular, students will not access any campus facilities other than their residence halls, dining facilities, and outside spaces. Although all in-person activities (e.g., HRC, University Athletics, and in-person student organization activities outside one’s living units) will be suspended during this time, many virtual activities will occur. All student support services will remain available through virtual means.

Our ability to continue with our planned residential experience with in-person classes relies on a shared commitment to keeping one another safe by following the rules—including wearing masks whenever you are in the presence of others regardless of social distance (inside and outside), maintaining at least six feet of social distancing whenever possible, frequent handwashing, and maintaining small social circles. The next two weeks will be an opportunity for each of our students to demonstrate your commitment to the health and safety guidelines to maintain a residential campus.  

We have instituted a COVID concern reporting process to enlist your help in identifying those students who are engaging in behaviors that may compromise a successful fall semester for the vast majority of you who want to be here and are following the guidelines. If you see behavior that violates Butler’s COVID-related expectations, please report it by clicking the COVID Concerns button on my.butler, the Butler App, or the University’s COVID webpage. 

We will continue to do our very best to make an on-campus and in-person experience possible, and we expect you to do the same.


James M. Danko

Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Frank E. Ross III, PhD 
Vice President for Student Affairs

August 18, 2020—Updates and Reminders from Dr. Ross

Dear Students,

It has been so nice to see many students and family members on campus over the past several days, and I look forward to seeing even more in the days ahead. I understand that the return to campus this fall is nothing like we ever have experienced before, and I am truly grateful for everyone’s patience and cooperation as we work together to support the health and safety of our community.

I am writing today to provide you with a number of timely updates and important reminders as you prepare for the new academic year.

COVID-19 and the Student Experience

I invite all students to join me in a virtual town hall this week that will include President Danko and a number of University leaders. We will discuss the student experience—both inside and outside of the classroom—and what you need to know to prepare for a successful fall semester in the face of COVID-19‚ including what to expect in the classroom, dining, student activities, fraternity and sorority life, and of course everything related to your health and well-being.

The student virtual town hall will be held on Thursday, August 20, from 6:00–7:00 PM (EST). Students may register for the virtual town hall and submit questions here.  

Students who are not available to participate in the live virtual town hall will be able to review the recording later, which will be posted on the University’s COVID-19 website.

New COVID-19 Communications Process 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the need for frequent communication to our community is paramount. As such, beginning this week our process for COVID-related communications will change as outlined below:

  • Our public-facing COVID-19 website ( will serve as the primary hub for new information. News will appear on that homepage under the title “Latest Updates” and will remain there for at least a week before it is moved into one of the student or employee return to campus plan pages and/or FAQ page.
  • On Thursday afternoons, we will send an email that will list all of the COVID-19 updates from that week. If there is no new information to share, this email will not be sent.
  • The Butler App, Butler Today newsletter, and Butler’s social media channels will all be used to share many of these key updates, as well.
  • By better utilizing the COVID website, and adding this new weekly email, we hope to reduce the number of emails we send on a weekly basis, freeing up space for critical, time-sensitive updates from President Danko, Provost Morris, and other members of the leadership team when those needs arise.
Our Fight Against COVID-19 is a Shared Responsibility 

This fall semester is going to be unusual for everyone and will require our collective vigilance and teamwork to promote a healthy environment on our campus. Let’s remember our personal commitment to do our part and work together in hopes of returning to more typical campus activities in 2021.

Please remember that all students will be required to be tested on campus for COVID-19 prior to moving into on-campus housing, and non-residential students will be required to be tested before their first class. Students are also required to complete an online Daily Health Checkup (COVID-19 symptom screening) and to check their temperature every day before leaving their residence. Further details about testing and when and how to complete the Daily Health Checkup are available here.

We have already seen several examples of COVID-19 clusters occurring on other campuses due to students attending parties, not wearing masks, and neglecting social distancing. This is selfish and irresponsible behavior. Breaking protocols and health guidelines will lead to spikes in COVID-19 cases and jeopardize the in-person campus experience for everyone. We can do better at Butler!

Please remember that the Student Commitment for Personal and Community Well-Being that you have agreed to before beginning the fall semester includes a commitment to refrain from organizing, hosting, or attending non-sanctioned events, parties, or other social gatherings off campus that may cause safety risks to yourself and other members of the community. We will be taking violations of this commitment seriously. You do not want to be the reason you and your fellow students cannot complete your goals this semester.

Mask up and let’s stay safe, Bulldogs!

Frank E. Ross III, PhD
Pronouns: he, him, él
Vice President for Student Affairs

August 6, 2020—New COVID-19 Testing Requirement and Changes to Move-in Protocols

Dear Butler Students and Families,

This message contains urgent updates related to new COVID-19 testing and training requirements for all students, and important changes to protocols for students moving into on-campus housing. Please read this message in its entirety and visit our Return to Campus Plan at for additional information.

As you know, the global pandemic is fluid and evolving, and conditions have been changing rapidly. Recently we have observed an increasing number of COVID-19 cases both here in Marion County and in many areas from which our students will be traveling to campus. Therefore, we have updated our plans with the new, enhanced health and safety measures below to better reflect current conditions and further protect our campus community.  

Required COVID-19 Testing

Butler University is now requiring ALL STUDENTS to be tested on campus for COVID-19 prior to moving into on-campus housing. ALL non-residential students will be required to be tested before their first class. More details will be released in the coming weeks regarding testing of non-residential students and students residing in Greek housing. Butler University is covering the cost of the COVID-19 tests.

New Move-In Protocols for Residential Students

Move-in begins this Saturday, August 8. Students must still complete the Back to Butler Health Screening available on prior to arriving on campus. Students should now plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to their move-in appointment time, and check in at the Health Screening tent in the Hinkle Fieldhouse Parking Lot. When you arrive, we will now be conducting temperature checks on students and their parents/helpers and a COVID-19 test for students, with results available within approximately 30 minutes. 

Any student who tests positive at their move-in appointment will NOT be permitted to move into on-campus housing, and must leave campus promptly. Butler Health Services will advise those who test positive about when and how they will be permitted to return to campus. Butler has a limited number of isolation rooms available for students who test positive but are unable to return home.

We strongly advise all students to pack lightly for the semester to make it easier on themselves should their circumstance change either upon arrival to campus, or throughout the semester. Please pack only what you need. 

Student Commitment and Training Requirements

Prior to moving into on-campus housing or attending their first class, ALL students will be required to complete the Student Commitment for Personal and Community Well-being online agreement form. (Note: Students will receive a separate email with a link and specific instructions for completing this form.) We are holding students accountable for their behavior, and for adhering to the health and safety practices as outlined in the student commitment. If students are unable or unwilling to agree to this commitment, please do not come to campus and consider exploring a fully online option for the fall semester by contacting the associate dean in your College no later than August 10.

Prior to the start of classes, ALL STUDENTS will also be required to complete an online COVID-19 training module in Canvas. The training module is live and available for you to complete in Canvas at your convenience prior to your first class. If you need assistance accessing Canvas, please visit

Webinar for Families

Butler will be conducting a webinar for families next Tuesday, August 11, at 6:o0 PM EDT to discuss Butler’s health and safety plan, and address frequently asked questions. Registration details for the webinar will be sent out soon in a separate email. The webinar will also be recorded and made available on Butler’s website the next day for those unable to attend.

Thank you for sharing Butler’s commitment to promoting a healthy campus environment for all. If you have further questions after reviewing this information, please send an email to and it will be routed to the appropriate department to provide a response.

July 29, 2020—Important Student Life Updates from Dr. Ross

Dear Butler students and families,

I write with important updates regarding student life and matters related to our efforts to support the health and safety of the Butler community this fall. This is a lengthy communication but contains essential information you need to know and understand in preparation for the fall semester.

Typically, this is the time of year in which I pen welcome back messages to our Bulldogs as we prepare for the start of a new academic year. Given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this academic year is anything but typical. Accordingly, my message conveys a very different tone.

We have heard from our students and understand that the majority of you want a residential, in-person collegiate experience this fall. And we want that for you. Our faculty, staff, and administrators have been working hard to plan an excellent educational experience for you, both inside and outside of the classroom, mindful of the health and safety plan we have in place. But let me very clear—our ability to have a residential campus experience in large part depends on YOU!

Overcoming the challenges posed by this pandemic will require each of us to prioritize the greater good. We are doing everything possible to slow the spread of coronavirus, but we need responsible involvement from all members of our University community. Whether on- or off-campus, every action we take and every choice we make will affect others and either increase or decrease our ability to have a successful in-person semester. 

Campus Housing Updates

As a result of the ongoing health crisis, we are making modifications to campus housing requirements and processes to provide our students and families more options. 

  • Due to COVID-19, the University is suspending its residency requirement, effective for the 2020-2021 academic year. This will provide more flexibility to students so that they can make decisions that best support their individual needs during the pandemic. Students with a Butler housing contract will be emailed TONIGHT by Residence Life with more information, including directions for any student who wants to make a change to their existing on-campus housing/dining plans. Please note that any desired changes must be made prior to a student moving into an on-campus residence.
  • Fraternity and sorority members who have a housing contract to live in their house this fall need to work directly with their housing corporation board if they desire to make any changes, as those contracts are between the student and the housing corporation. Residence Life cannot release a student from their fraternity/sorority housing contact. Fraternity and sorority members should contact their organization for more information.
  • Given these changes, and our ongoing efforts to promote the health and safety of our community, the move-in process for on-campus apartments will begin on August 8, instead of August 1. Residence Life will be reaching out to apartment residents tonight regarding this change. There are no changes to the residence hall move-in schedule. 

Health Requirements

Before you return to campus, please familiarize yourself with the health requirements in the return to campus health and safety plan. As a reminder, the University is providing each student with a face mask and thermometer when they return to campus.

  • We ask all students to adhere to social distancing and use face masks in public for the 14 days prior to their return to the Butler campus.
  • All students must complete the one-time Back to Butler Health Screening 72 hours prior to move-in or first day on campus. Although we are not requiring entry testing, we request that all students get tested for COVID-19 at least seven days prior to arriving on campus. 
  • Everyone is required to check their temperature and then complete an online Daily Health Checkup (COVID-19 symptom screening) every day before leaving their residence.
  • All students who report COVID-19 symptoms, or who are exposed to the virus, must follow the testing, contact tracing, and quarantine/isolation protocols established by the University.
  • The University will require anyone who tests positive to return home, to their permanent residence, and self-isolate for the appropriate period of time. If the student’s living situation is such that they cannot return to their permanent residence to self-isolate, the University has a comprehensive plan to isolate student residents to the extent possible given a limited number of isolation spaces available. 
  • Students who are identified as close contacts of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine-in-place in their current housing assignment for a minimum of 14 days. 
  • Students are required to receive an annual flu shot when it becomes available in the fall. 

Social Life On and Off Campus

Social engagement with peers is an important part of the residential collegiate experience. As you plan to return to campus in a few weeks to see your friends and also to make new ones, please remember that social life will be very different this fall. We have new health and safety expectations for you, outlined in the Student Commitment for Personal and Community Well-being, and all students are responsible for following these rules. Key points to remember include:

  • We expect students to socialize in groups of no more than 10 people at a time.
  • Everyone must observe appropriate social distancing and everyone must wear face masks. 
  • We expect students to refrain from organizing, hosting, or attending non-sanctioned events, parties, or other social gatherings off campus. 
  • Residence Life will have rules specific to students living in residence halls and campus apartments.

Please be aware these rules apply to students living in off-campus houses and the knoll. We have seen examples across the country of how infection spreads when people choose not to follow safety measures. We must all act responsibly and do everything we can to slow the spread of this virus.

There is no room for error here. People’s lives depend on your adherence to these rules.

Fraternity and Sorority Life

Our fraternities and sororities are an important part of Butler’s campus life, and there is great responsibility on these students to exhibit leadership in upholding the University’s expectations during this pandemic. I am extremely proud of our Greek governing bodies—Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council, who have been working hard to develop new rules of engagement for fraternities and sororities this fall that support the University’s health and safety guidelines. 

  • Fraternity parties will NOT be allowed this fall.
  • Philanthropic and recruitment events will be significantly altered.

Greek organizations and their members will be required to follow the specific guidelines outlined in the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association plans. Any individual or organization found in violation should expect serious consequences.

Your Commitment

Students who are planning to study on campus this fall will need to sign an affirmation that they understand and accept their responsibilities as a member of our community. Students will receive a separate email with details on how to complete this process. It is extremely important that every student follow these expectations.

Violations of this agreement could result in sanctions as outlined in the Butler Student Handbook up to, and including, permanent dismissal from campus. Such violations could have significant impact, including cancellation of a student’s campus housing and/or cancellation of course enrollment—resulting in possible forfeiture of paid tuition and fees.

Let me be very clear: if you are unwilling or unable to comply with the University’s health and safety expectations, you should not come to campus. Instead, you should contact your associate dean no later than August 10 to discuss your options for a fully remote fall semester.

To Our Parents and Families

A number of parents have been reaching out to ask “What can I do to help Butler?” Today, that answer is clear—we need you to be our partners. Remind your students of their critical role in promoting a healthy campus. Help them understand there will be consequences if they do not abide by the University’s health and safety expectations. If they undertake risky behavior, it will impact them and others. Remind them that together we can help create the outcomes we all desire.

Families can also assist by encouraging their students to serve as positive role models and reinforce good behavior on- and off-campus. We are looking for Butler students who are interested in helping us to promote a healthy and safe community. Wellness Champions are student leaders who are trained and actively seek opportunities to encourage students to make healthy choices. For more information on this student leadership opportunity, please contact Katie Woods, Assistant Director for Health Promotion and Wellness at

We will be hosting a health and safety webinar for parents and guardians to answer your questions. Details are forthcoming. If you have any questions about the fall semester or changes we are making to prioritize the health and safety of the Butler community, please submit them using this form so we can address them on the webinar.

In This Together

We understand that being a student on a residential campus this fall requires a different way of thinking about, and approaching, life both inside and outside of the classroom. We believe Butler students are conscientious and care about each other enough to do this. We need everyone's help to have a safe fall semester. Hold your friends and peers accountable, and reach out when you need help with that.

Keeping our community safe in the face of a contagious virus will require each one of us to act responsibly. This is our opportunity to rise to the occasion, look out for one another, and show what we can accomplish when we all work together. You owe it to yourself and your fellow Bulldogs to do what’s right. Just remember—your efforts will increase the likelihood of having a successful in-person semester. 

We are all in this together.

Frank E. Ross III, PhD
(he, him, his)
Vice President for Student Affairs

July 24, 2020—Important Information about Fall 2020 Academics

Dear Students,

Recently, you received our Health and Safety guidelines. I am writing in follow-up to ensure you noticed the important academic information contained within those guidelines.

Our goal is to remain a residential campus throughout the fall semester, and to set ourselves up for a successful spring semester. To be sure, things will be different this fall. But I am confident that true to The Butler Way, we will all adapt to our “new reality” quickly, and carry on with our tradition as a community that works hard academically and engages in co-curricular activities that foster leadership, connection, and fun.   

As your academic Vice President, I write today to talk a bit about how the academic activities will work; you will hear soon from Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Frank Ross, about student life this fall.

Let me start by emphasizing that all decisions about how our campus will function this fall are based on enhancing the safety of Butler community members and minimizing risk of spread of illness. Below are four key principles that have guided our planning process.

  • We are decreasing density in academic and other spaces and following social distancing guidelines, which means that in the vast majority of classroom situations, there will be six feet of distance between people. In the rare circumstances in which six feet of distance cannot be maintained, additional required personal protective equipment will be provided.
  • We are requiring facial coverings to protect others who share the same space. A facial covering is mandatory for all individuals in all academic spaces (e.g., classrooms, labs), as well as in all other public spaces. There are some cases in which only a face mask (and not a bandana, gaiter, or other face covering) is acceptable; and we will let you know if a face mask in particular is required. Please keep a face mask with you at all times.
  • We are taking special care to protect those members of our community who are most vulnerable to severe illness. Some students will be fully remote throughout the fall semester. Some faculty and staff will be working remotely.
  • We are operating in a way that reduces in-person density among the workforce on campus. You will notice fewer faculty and staff on campus and in offices than in ordinary times. Although our usual “drop in” approach to seeing a faculty or staff member will be replaced by scheduled meetings (whether face-to-face, by phone, or by Zoom), our faculty and staff remain ready to support you in all the ways they always have been. In many cases, there are added supports to students in the time of the pandemic.

With these guidelines in mind, we began planning our courses for fall semester. In the remainder of this email, I provide more detail about the fall classroom experience.  

How will courses be taught this fall?

Most of our classes will occur in face-to-face format, with students seated six feet apart, and everyone will be wearing facial coverings or masks. Due to social distancing restrictions that limit the number of students who can be in a classroom at any given time, the occupancy limits for our instructional spaces are lower than usual. As a result, face-to-face classes will vary in terms of student attendance expectations, meeting frequency, and the engagement of technology. Here are some examples of how face-to-face classes will be run:

  • In some classes, the instructor and all students enrolled in a course will be in the same room together for each class period. Such classes will be held in rooms big enough for all students with social distancing guidelines in place. 
  • Instructors may use the “flipped classroom” technique, in which students watch pre-recorded lectures from the faculty member on video outside of class time, and class time is reserved for smaller, faculty-led discussion sections.  
  • Classrooms are equipped with new technologies to allow faculty to teach to a portion of the students in person, while simultaneously livestreaming to students not physically present. Students rotate being physically present in class and watching the livestream.
  • Students may do group work together virtually or in person outside of class (following health and safety guidelines) while the class period itself is focused on faculty-led activities.

There will be a number of classes offered in a fully remote format. These courses may be synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of both. As of this writing, approximately 10 percent of our courses will be fully remote. There are a variety of reasons a class might be remote, including:

  • Courses were already scheduled to be offered remotely, even prior to the onset of the pandemic. 
  • Courses have been transitioned to remote format because reduced density and social distancing in certain instructional spaces makes remote pedagogy more effective than face-to-face pedagogy.
  • Courses have transitioned to remote and new remote courses have been added to create options for students studying remotely this semester.
  • Courses are being taught remotely by faculty for whom it is safer to remain off campus, due to risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

How are we equipping Butler faculty to enhance the learning environment during the pandemic?

Butler faculty have been hard at work preparing to deliver a high-quality educational experience to students this fall. Virtually all faculty at Butler—whether full time or part time, whether brand new or very experienced teachers—are progressing through our faculty development program designed to help them incorporate into their courses best practices for face-to-face, hybrid, or fully remote pedagogy. Any faculty member who is teaching in fully remote format has already completed our training program for online instruction or is progressing through that training now.  

We are also equipping faculty and students with technology tools to support teaching and learning in a technology rich environment. By the time you arrive on campus, most of our classrooms will be able to be used for livestreaming faculty to students who are not physically present in the classroom. We have acquired additional licenses for products (e.g., Adobe Creative Suite) to support student work in certain disciplines. And we have purchased new products to support secure remote testing (especially important for final exams, which will be remote this fall).  

How will you know what format your classes will be?

We have identified courses that will be delivered in fully remote format, and such courses are noted as “online” in your class schedule/Student Center in Because class formats are being adjusted in the coming weeks, students are encouraged to check their schedules several times between now and the beginning of the semester to monitor for changes. If you have concerns about courses on your schedule identified as “online” please see your associate dean to discuss whether other course options could work for you.  

How will you get academic help if you need it?

Faculty will be available to support students in a one-on-one capacity throughout the fall semester. Meetings with faculty might occur face-to-face in a faculty member’s office or another meeting room large enough to promote social distancing—and in such cases, facial coverings or masks will be required. Outside meetings may be possible as well, weather permitting. In cases where face-to-face meetings are not possible, students can still have one-on-one faculty meetings via Zoom, phone, or other technology. To find out how best to meet with faculty, please communicate with your professors via email, chat, or other means they indicate on their syllabi as preferable to determine whether a meeting should occur in person or using technology.

All student support offices (e.g., Student Disability Services, Center for Academic Success and Exploration, Career and Professional Success) remain open and available to students. In the past, students have dropped by offices. In an attempt to reduce density within offices and maintain social distancing, students are asked to make appointments (face-to-face or virtual) in lieu of drop-ins.  

I hope this email provides you with a sense of how academics will work this fall. Please know that we are excited to begin the new academic year in a few short weeks, and are working hard to prepare for a successful fall semester. Please remember to check our informational website frequently, as we are updating it regularly. If you have any questions not appropriate for the associate deans listed above, please contact

All my best for the remainder of summer.


Dr. Morris

Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

June 29, 2020—Return to Campus Updates from Dr. Frank Ross

Dear Butler Students and Families,

Provost Kathryn Morris wrote to you recently to share important updates regarding the fall academic semester. Today I am writing to provide details on the housing move-in process, measures we are taking to promote the health and safety of our campus community, and new options to offer students more choices for the fall semester. 

As we prepare to welcome students, faculty, and staff to campus for the academic year, we understand that the collegiate experience will be different because of the global pandemic. Bulldogs take pride in their ability to innovate, and the upcoming academic year is perhaps one of our greatest innovation opportunities yet. Butler is actively redesigning and reimagining the way our community operates in order to continue providing you a transformative and holistic student experience. 

Health and Safety on Campus

Our policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic prioritize the safety and well-being of our entire campus community while continuing our vital mission of teaching and learning. We will be implementing safety measures across all areas of campus, including required facial coverings, social distancing standards, enhanced cleaning protocols, and density-reducing modifications to classrooms and residential units. Specific details regarding our safety-related campus modifications, as well as expectations for student behavior, will be outlined in our Student Health and Safety Plan, which will be sent to students and families in July.  

Campus Housing Move-In

The return to campus for residential students will occur by appointment, and through an extended move-in period. As previously communicated, students residing in campus apartments (Apartment Village, South Campus Apartments, Butler Terrace, University Terrace) will move in by appointment, beginning August 1. Students residing in residence halls (Irvington House, Residential College, Ross Hall, Fairview House) will move in by appointment, beginning August 16.

  • The number of people students can bring to campus to assist with the move-in process will be limited. 
  • Students and their helpers must practice social distancing and must wear facial coverings while in public areas on campus.
  • Students and their helpers will be required to successfully complete health screenings, which include taking temperatures. If a student or their helper is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should not come to campus. 
  • The Office of Residence Life will email students next week with more information, including details about the move-in process for their residential facility. Students should not make travel plans until they have received confirmation of their move-in appointment day and time.
  • Students residing in fraternity or sorority housing should expect to receive move-in information in early July, directly from their organization.

Student Options for the Fall Semester

As we plan for the new academic year, we realize there is a great deal of uncertainty. We are working diligently to prepare the campus in a way that promotes the health and well-being of the entire Butler community—realizing that as a result of the pandemic, there is still risk involved. Our Student Health and Safety Plan will outline the efforts we are undertaking to mitigate that risk. In addition, we want to make students aware of options that they may choose to consider as they make decisions regarding the fall semester.

Housing Accommodations 

Students who would like to request a health-related accommodation for housing should visit the Residence Life Portal to update their existing housing application.  Students should complete this by Friday, July 3. Health Services will then contact students to review their information, and students should be prepared with any health-related documentation that will need to be provided to Health Services. 

Fully Remote Fall Semester Option

Undergraduate students who wish to explore a fully remote educational experience for the fall semester should contact the Associate Dean in their college to discuss options. See below for contact information. Students with pre-existing medical conditions who request remote education will be connected with Student Disability Services and medical documentation will be required. 

We cannot guarantee that all courses in which students are currently enrolled will be available in a fully remote format (e.g., labs, production and performance courses, internships, and other experiential courses and activities). Students should work with their Associate Dean to determine what courses might be available in a fully remote experience, and evaluate the impact that the course schedule might have on their degree progress. 

Students who elect a fully remote option will pay regular tuition and any academic fees, but will not pay room, board, or non-academic fees, nor will they have access to on-campus amenities.  

Requests to explore remote educational experiences must be made via email to the relevant Associate Dean prior to August 10 (two weeks prior to the first class day of the fall semester).

Future Communications

We want our Butler families to make informed planning decisions for the fall semester, and are committed to providing regular information. Over the coming weeks, students will receive communication outlining the details of how we, as the entire Butler community, must all modify our daily routines to take care of our own well-being, and that of the community. Personal responsibility, and care for others, is critical for a successful academic year. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be expected to fully comply with our policies, protocols, and guidelines to promote the health and safety of our community. 

Enjoy the remainder of your summer!

Frank E. Ross III, PhD
Pronouns: he, him, his
Vice President for Student Affairs

June 15, 2020—Fall 2020 Academic Calendar

Dear Butler Students and Families,

As your Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, I am writing to share important updates regarding alterations to Butler University's Fall 2020 Academic Calendar. 

This is the first in a series of communications from Butler University leadership to share important information about the upcoming fall academic semester with students and their families. Every week or so, one of our vice presidents or other campus leaders will share with you information about how Butler University will function this fall. Our primary goal is to prioritize the health and safety of all members of our campus community while continuing to deliver an outstanding learning experience for our students in the pandemic environment.  

One of the most important things we can do to protect our campus community is to minimize the number of times students come and go from campus, because each time students leave for the weekend it increases the likelihood of bringing illness back to our campus. Therefore, we are making modifications to the academic calendar for fall semester to remove breaks.  

The first day of instruction will occur two days earlier than originally planned. Labor Day will become a class day, and Fall Break is canceled. The last day of instruction for the semester will be the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. After the Thanksgiving holiday, students will have two reading days to prepare for final exams, which will occur remotely over a week-long period in early December. The key dates involved in our revised fall semester are below, and I urge you to make note of them. The full revised academic calendar can be found here.

  • Monday, August 24: First day of instruction
  • Monday, September 7: Classes will occur (Labor Day not observed)
  • Thursday, October 15–Friday, October 16: Classes will occur (Fall Break canceled)
  • Tuesday, November 24: Last day of instruction/residence halls close through winter break unless special permission is obtained from Residence Life
  • Monday, November 30: Reading day
  • Tuesday, December 1: Reading day
  • Wednesday, December 2–Tuesday, December 8: Final exam week (weekdays only; all exams and final projects will occur remotely)

You are no doubt wondering what this revised academic calendar means for our student move-in process—which has been extended to ensure social distancing requirements. The on-campus housing move-in process will occur by appointment beginning August 1 for students living in apartments, and August 16 for students living in residence halls. Dr. Frank E. Ross, Vice President for Student Affairs, will be providing details regarding our move-in process in our next update. 

You will receive additional academic updates as the summer progresses. For now, I hope learning more about how we are planning for fall semester makes you excited about coming to campus in August. 


Dr. Morris

Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

May 21, 2020—Message from President Danko Regarding Fall Semester

Dear Students,

Congratulations on completing a spring semester unlike anything you expected when it began. I am extremely proud of your resilience and accomplishments. You have lived out the values of The Butler Way, demonstrating the very best of our University.

As we continue to manage the impact of COVID-19 on our community, I know that you have an understandable interest in our plans and approaches for the fall semester. In a recent video message, I shared that it is our intention to provide a safe return to an on-campus academic and residential experience.

Indeed, a Butler education is made special through opportunities to engage with your peers and professors and to gain real-world experience through internships, research experiences, mentoring relationships, performances, co-curricular activities, and community engagement. As such, we are doing everything possible to provide these experiences to you, despite the challenges that have been presented by the pandemic.

At the same time, our top priority will remain the health and safety of our entire campus community. As I write this letter in mid-May, there remains a great deal of uncertainty around the ongoing impact of the coronavirus, from the standpoint of both health risks and any restrictions that may be imposed upon us.

Butler’s size and low student-to-faculty ratio not only provide an educational advantage; they support greater social distancing. Under the leadership of Butler Provost Kathryn Morris, our faculty, administration, and staff are working tirelessly to prepare for a range of possible scenarios to ensure a safe, continuous, and high-quality educational experience, no matter the circumstances at any given point in time. If the virus-risk increases and compromises the safety of our community, we will be prepared for any necessary shifts to distance or hybrid education for periods of time.

In addition to ensuring high-quality educational programs this fall, we are working to expand safety measures, such as reductions in the density within our classrooms, residential housing, dining services, and other campus spaces. In collaboration with the Indiana State Department of Health, we will follow COVID-19 testing and contact tracing protocols, if and when someone on our campus has possible exposure to the virus.

Allow me to share one final observation. While no one can know for sure what the next few months will bring, I am certain that the fall semester will be unlike any ever experienced by American universities. Yes, the fall semester may be different than you might have imagined, but I am confident that you will continue to receive an outstanding education—including those special lifetime experiences that are a hallmark of Butler University.

We will continue to keep you updated throughout the summer as we finalize our plans. Please visit our webpage for answers to frequently asked questions, ongoing updates, and additional information.

In the meantime, I wish you and your loved ones good health.


James M. Danko
President, Butler University

May 11, 2020—Update to Workplace Health & Safety

Dear Butler Faculty and Staff,

In a follow-up to President Danko’s message on Friday, May 8, I am writing to provide additional information about our return to work plan.  
As President Danko stated, Butler University has continued operations as an essential business; however, for a number of weeks, we have minimized the number of employees working on campus while encouraging those able to work at home to do so. We are maintaining our current work approach until at least June 15. Even at that time and only if conditions allow, we will begin a gradual return-to-work on campus with appropriate safety measures to support the well-being of our community.
In accordance with Governor Eric Holcomb’s recently announced Indiana’s Back on Track Plan, Butler’s Health and Safety workgroup has started the first of many steps to formalize a path forward for our University plan. To that end, we are taking the following initial actions:   

  1. Instituting a daily, electronic COVID-19 self-screening process that is required for all employees working on campus to help reduce the risk of transmission in our community. Once we finalize the self-screening process, we will communicate more detailed information to our campus community. Please know that we are also requiring our vendors and contractors, such as Bon Appetit and the science project construction company, to implement similar measures with their employees.
  2.  Following the Indiana State Department of Health’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing protocols, as they continue to become available when someone on our campus has had possible exposure to the virus.
  3. Implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, including regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces and high-trafficked areas.
  4. Bolstering our supplies to enhance the ability of employees to follow personal hygiene measures, such as washing hands and having access to hand sanitizer. It is highly encouraged that face masks be worn at all times on campus when employees are in the company of others or in common areas. We are currently evaluating our options to provide face masks to employees and students upon their return to campus. 
  5. Implementing safety requirements established by the CDC, including maintaining six-foot social distancing, and decreasing the density within common spaces.

Personal responsibility will be critical to our success as a campus community. Consistent with BUBeWell, we expect all faculty and staff to engage in practices that promote the health, safety, and wellbeing of the entire Butler community. As we move forward with our planning process, we will provide additional information and action steps to prepare for the return of employees to campus.   

Please visit our webpage for answers to frequently asked questions, ongoing updates, and additional information. As always, I welcome your thoughts and questions.

Brent Rockwood ’00
Vice President, Chief of Staff | Office of the President

May 1, 2020—End of the Academic Year Message


May 1, 2020

Dear Butler Students and Community,

As the academic year comes to a close, I encourage you to view this video message.

Congratulations to all Butler students for the incredible job you have done this semester in transitioning to a completely different educational experience. You have truly risen to the occasion, and we are proud of you.


James M. Danko
President, Butler University

May 1, 2020—May 9 Celebration of Class Ceremony

Dear Graduating Students and Families,

As we come to the close of your final semester at Butler, I write to congratulate you, not only on the completion of your respective degree requirements, but also on successfully navigating a very challenging end to your undergraduate or graduate career. 

I know that there will be many mixed feelings as May 9 approaches. Even as you celebrate the conferral of your degree, you are likely disappointed that we are not holding Commencement that day.  

I have received questions from students about when their degrees will be conferred. The good news is that the date of degree conferral, on your official transcripts and diplomas, will be May 9, 2020. To recognize this important moment, we will be posting a brief Celebration of Degree Conferral on Saturday, May 9, available at 11:00 AM on the Butler website. Please watch with your families as you have your degrees conferred by President Danko and hear brief greetings from Malin Peterson on behalf of the graduating class and Dr. Jane Gervasio on behalf of the faculty. Please visit the Commencement website the morning of May 9 where you will find a link to view the celebration at 11:00 AM. Students completing their degree requirements in August are also encouraged to join in the celebration.

To be sure, this brief recognition of degree conferral is not a replacement for your Commencement ceremony, which will occur on Friday, December 18, in Hinkle Fieldhouse. We look forward to gathering in person at that time to celebrate all May, August, and December 2020 graduates at the winter Commencement Ceremony. For now, despite the physical distance that separates us, we are pleased to have the opportunity to confer upon you the degrees you have worked so hard to earn.

Students, on May 9 you will become Butler University graduates, and we are honored to recognize this special occasion with you. Congratulations on completing your studies. I am proud of each one of you, and I hope you will plan to join us online on May 9 at 11:00 AM to celebrate this significant milestone together.


Dr. Morris

Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

April 17, 2020—A Message from Student Affairs Regarding Campus Housing Move-Out


Dear Butler Students, 

I am pleased to announce that Butler University has developed a process for you to fully move out of your campus housing.

We realize that the move-out options have been less than ideal due to constraints from the COVID-19 pandemic, so we appreciate your patience as we developed a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our Butler community while being sensitive to your understandable desire to retrieve your belongings.

Beginning on Wednesday, April 22 and lasting through the end of May, you will have the opportunity to move out of your campus housing. On Monday, April 20 you will receive an email from Residence Life with further information and details about your specific residential unit—including a process to schedule a move-out appointment, which is limited in number each day due to public health guidelines and social distancing requirements. If you are unable to return to campus during this move-out period, Residence Life will contact you to discuss other options.  

Before traveling to campus, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the appropriate local, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines regarding social distancing, essential travel, public gatherings, and other activities so you can make the best decision given your specific situation and location. 

Please continue to take good care of yourselves and each other, and visit BUBeWell for virtual resources to support you while you are away from campus. I encourage you to contact with any questions you might have, and be sure to visit Butler’s COVID-19 FAQ page for all of the latest information and updates.

Most sincerely, 

Frank E. Ross III, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

April 16, 2020—Rescheduled Commencement Announcement


Dear Butler Community,

I am pleased to announce that Butler University will hold a formal Commencement ceremony for all May, August, and December, 2020 graduates on Friday, December 18 at 6:30 PM in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

More information will be forthcoming to members of the graduating class. Until then, I encourage graduates and their families to save the date for this year’s very special winter Commencement. 

I would like to extend my thanks to members of the Butler University commencement committee, as well as representatives of the undergraduate and graduate graduating classes, who worked together to identify alternatives to the originally-planned May 9 Commencement.  This group developed a survey offered to graduates to indicate their preference between two options:  a virtual Commencement in May or a traditional Commencement in December.  Graduates voted in large numbers and overwhelmingly in favor of a winter commencement ceremony. We are pleased to honor graduates’ preference, and are delighted to begin planning a special winter Commencement ceremony to recognize our graduates’ academic milestone.

I look forward to this opportunity to honor and celebrate our graduates’ academic achievements.  I continue to be impressed by our entire community’s admirable response to the unforeseen challenges we have faced together this spring. Our students, faculty, and staff continue to exhibit the very best of Butler University.

Best wishes for the remaining days of spring semester.

Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

April 15, 2020—Summer Sessions Update from Provost Morris


Dear Students,

I write to you today with an important academic update on our summer session courses. Many students have already signed up for summer session courses or will be doing so shortly. The majority of our summer session courses were already planned to be delivered online. Please be advised due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to transition all summer session courses to online delivery. The only exceptions are a small number of Chemistry (CH) courses, in which lecture instruction will be online and all laboratory work will occur on campus during an identified week in August. These CH courses (including one section of NW offered by the Department of Chemistry) are noted as such in the online summer session course schedule.

Please note that the alternative grading option implemented for spring 2020 is not available for summer session classes. The alternative grading option was implemented for the specific situation in which the mode of delivery changed unexpectedly midway through the semester. If you are already signed up for a course that was originally scheduled to be delivered face-to-face, and you no longer wish to remain enrolled now that you know it will be taught online, please unenroll yourself from that course.

Thank you for your continued flexibility and understanding. Best wishes for the remainder of the semester.

Dr. Morris

Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs



March 31, 2020—Spring 2020 Alternative Grading Option Policy for Students


Dear Students,

I write with an important academic update for you regarding the course grading options available to you this semester. I urge you to read this message, the linked policy, and the linked FAQs carefully.

For the past two weeks, academic leaders have been working diligently to develop a policy that creates an alternative grading option for undergraduate students who elect to use it for this semester only. Earlier today, the Faculty Senate endorsed this policy, which is now officially in effect. The goal of this policy is to incentivize strong academic performance while providing a “safety net” for students whose academic performance may suffer due to the unexpected shift to online education.

The alternative grading option allows students to choose whether to have their courses graded using the traditional A-F scale, or an alternative option that includes Satisfactory (S) and Pass (P). In the alternative option, grades of S or P do not affect the grade point average (GPA), and may be used to satisfy some (but not all; read the policy and FAQs carefully) degree requirements. By default, all courses will be graded by faculty using the traditional A-F scale. After final grades are posted, students have until May 15 to select the alternative option for any or all of their courses.  

The policy can be found here and FAQs about the policy can be found here.  I encourage you to carefully read the policy and FAQs. The decision to request the alternative grading option resides with each individual student, and there are circumstances in which it would not be to your benefit to request the alternative grading option. Please ensure you consult with advisers as appropriate and make informed decisions before requesting the alternative grading option for any or all of your courses.

In summary, let me again emphasize the importance of carefully reading the alternative grading policy and FAQ. I encourage you to do your best academic work this semester so you can benefit from strong letter grades and the associated benefit for your semester and cumulative GPA. The alternative grading option should provide reassurance in the event the unexpected shift to online education affects your ability to do your best work.


Dr. Morris

Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 24, 2020—Message from the VP for Finance and Administration on Housing Credits

Dear Butler students, 

Recognizing the financial impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on our community, I am writing today to share an update on our progress in processing room and board credits to reflect the reduced usage of Butler University housing and meal plans.    

The University is working with our external housing and dining partners to finalize the amount of credits to be provided for unused housing and board plans. Credits will be applied to student accounts by April 8, 2020. 

We are extending student account payment due dates until May 31, 2020 (from the original April 2 due date as reflected on March e-bills). In addition, we are suspending interest on outstanding balances and late payment fees through May 31, 2020.

Once credits for housing and meal plans have been posted to student accounts, students can view their most current account balances via the following navigation:

  • Log into your account.
  • Select Self Service Student Homepage then Student Center.
  • Navigate to FINANCES heading.
  • Click on Account Inquiry (under My Account)—All posted transactions can be viewed.

If you have further questions about housing and dining credits, email You can also visit our COVID-19 webpage for the latest information.   

Please continue to take good care of yourselves and each other, and remember that Butler faculty and staff are here to assist you during this time.


Bruce E. Arick
Vice President for Finance and Administration


March 23, 2020—Message to Students from Student Affairs VP Frank Ross

Dear Butler Students and Families, 

Thank you for your patience and positivity as we are navigating this challenging time together. This is a lengthy email but it contains a number of important student life updates. Please remember that all of the latest information and updates are available on Butler’s COVID-19 FAQ page, which is being updated regularly with new information.  

New Mandates from the State and City
Today, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued a stay-at-home executive order, in effect through at least April 6. Indiana residents, and those in surrounding states, have been instructed not to travel except for essential needs. Following today’s announcement by Governor Holcomb, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Dr. Virginia Caine of the Marion County Public Health Department issued a series of “stay-at-home” orders, which also remain in effect through at least April 6. 

Given these new state and city mandates, and in an attempt to keep you and our employees safe, we are asking that you do not return to campus at this time.

We are determining the process for students to return to campus—once it is safe to do so—to completely move out from campus housing, and will announce those plans as soon as they are developed.

Given the severity of this health crisis and the recent mandates, those students living in senior houses in the neighborhoods adjacent to campus should strongly consider returning home, unless for truly extenuating circumstances.

Sexual Misconduct
Please remember that the Sexual Misconduct Policy applies during this time. The policy applies not only to behaviors that take place in person, but also those that take place online. Resources and reporting options for those who have experienced sexual misconduct are available. Reports of sexual misconduct can be submitted through our online report form or via email to Maria Kanger, our Title IX Coordinator, at or Jules Arthur-Grable, our Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Specialist, is also available via email at or phone call/text at 317-910-5572. Jules is a confidential resource who has a limited obligation to report to BUPD when certain crimes are reported. She does not provide names to BUPD.

Housing Selection Process for 2020–2021
We realize that moving to online learning has been a transition for everyone, and Residence Life has taken this into consideration as we prepare for the housing selection process for the next academic year.  We have decided to delay the release of housing selection times to allow students time to review an informational video that will be released shortly, and to allow for virtual discussions and planning with possible roommates for next year.

Residence Life will be providing information on housing selection to students by email on Wednesday, April 1, with selection times beginning on Monday, April 6. Timeslots will be assigned randomly by class. Again, more information will be sent early next week regarding specific information for the housing selection times and an informational video to walk you through what this process will look like.

Staying Connected with SGA
Student Government Association remains committed to serving students through the transition to virtual learning. Your SGA leadership team is hard at work developing programming and initiatives tailored to our new online learning community, and are determined to keep you engaged with one another and our campus. Please continue to stay connected with SGA over their social media platforms (Instagram and Twitter: @butlersga) for the most recent updates, and reach out to or your Senators with any questions.

Faith and Spiritual Support
The Center for Faith and Vocation has developed a Spiritual Care Conversationresource. Members of the Butler community can click a link to request a Spiritual Care Conversation with CFV staff and advisors from various traditions and backgrounds who are available for care and support. These conversations are private and confidential.  Additionally, many CFV Communities are exploring ways to continue their community gatherings and spiritual practices in online formats. Go to the CFV Communities Page to find current student and advisor contacts to reach out and learn more. Further, the CFV is exploring how we can gather students into virtual conversations, gatherings, and wellness practices related to our current challenges as well as interfaith dialogue and vocational reflection. Please reach out to for details on the virtual programs being offered. 

We are here to help
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at and we will respond. And again, please visit Butler’s COVID-19 FAQ page for all of the latest information and updates.

Please take care of yourselves and each other.

Frank E. Ross III, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

March 23, 2020—Governor Holcomb’s Stay at Home Order

Dear Butler Faculty and Staff,   

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb today announced an executive order (stay at home) to combat the COVID-19 health crisis. The purpose of the executive order is to “ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their homes to the maximum extent feasible, while also enabling essential services to continue, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible.” The order is in effect from March 25 to at least April 6.

Our leadership team has been preparing for this scenario and many of our actions taken to date, such as transitioning to online learning and aggressively limiting the number of students and employees on campus, are already in compliance with the Governor’s executive order. 

The executive order deems universities as essential businesses and operations, meaning that throughout the stay at home order, we will continue to facilitate distance learning and provide the minimum basic operations to support the University including the faculty, staff, and students residing on campus at this time. Employees who are able to do so will continue working from home. We anticipate retaining the following on-campus services (subject to change):

  • Health Services is operating by appointment only. 
  • Campus housing is only for pre-approved students and for faculty/staff who currently reside on campus.
  • Dining service is available in the Atherton Union Marketplace only. 
  • Building maintenance, grounds, and custodial services are operating at reduced levels.
  • Laboratory access is limited to the upkeep of equipment.
  • Butler University Police Department remains operational.
  • IT is supporting University infrastructure and systems, including online learning, remotely and on campus, as needed.
  • Office mail is available but must be picked up at the mail center in Holcomb.

Please visit the Governor’s website for an FAQ document on the stay-at-home order and Butler’s COVID-19 website for the latest information. Thank you for continuing to be flexible as we adjust to these changing circumstances and for all you are doing to serve Butler University and our broader community during this challenging time.


Brent Rockwood ’00
Vice President, Chief of Staff | Office of the President


March 20, 2020—A Message from President Danko


Dear Butler Community,

My sincere gratitude to all of you who have supported our students and their families as the COVID-19 crisis has necessitated student departures from residential units; faculty and students have shifted to online education, and many staff are working from home. We have received encouraging reports from faculty and students alike about their online courses in these first two days of the transition.

No doubt, the unfolding global crisis is taking an emotional toll on all of us. Even the occasional glance at social media can spark a roller coaster of emotions—from much-needed comic relief to heartbreaking stories about lives lost. Fortunately, we have incredible people in our midst who can be helpful during this difficult time. Daniel Meyers, Director of Butler’s Center for Faith and Vocation, for example, sent this message to the community earlier this week.

As I reflect upon Daniel’s words, I feel a sense of optimism about our students’ opportunities to grow and learn—not only academically, but personally—during this crisis. I feel the same optimism about all of us, as faculty and staff. This situation has forced us to redefine the manner in which we perform our work. And it has given us an opportunity to reflect upon our own vocations and roles in advancing Butler’s educational mission for the good of our students and society.

I have the incredible privilege of serving our community as president. Over the past week, this role has required me to stay quite busy, thereby focused on work as opposed to speculation about things I cannot control. I have found myself inexplicably energized as I strive to effectively lead during this time of crisis. Perhaps, to Daniel’s message, I am fulfilling my intended vocation.

As I have discussed this with friends and colleagues, both within and outside of the Butler community, many of them are energized as they dedicate themselves to efforts that will not only get us through this crisis, but will make us stronger in the long run. Doctors and nurses are caring for the sick in a situation unlike anything they have seen before; scientists are working hard to find a vaccine; innovators are pursuing new ways to address the world’s most critical needs for goods and equipment, and our faculty are finding solutions to unprecedented problems so that our students can continue to receive an outstanding Butler education.

This gives me confidence that we can each continue to use our energy and unique strengths for the greater good as we weather this crisis. In 1922, Katherine Merrill Graydon, recalling Butler amidst the double tragedies of World War I and influenza, observed, “The professors in true patriotic spirit met the demand of the occasion. Common thought, common activity, common experience, brought into close relationship all forces of the college. A spirit of devotion to duty, of sympathy in suffering, were great educative powers…”

We know that this pandemic will worsen before it improves. However, I believe that now, as then, a crisis can bring our community together for the benefit of our students and larger world. How would you like to contribute to Butler’s educational mission during this challenging time, according to your own personal vocation?

I’m confident that the answers to this question hold the key to our making a lasting and positive difference in the lives of our students and others. Together, we’ve got this!


James M. Danko
President, Butler University

March 18, 2020—Provost Message to Update Students

Dear Students,

I am writing to touch base with you as we transition from our extended spring break to online education for the remainder of the semester. This is a lengthy email—please take the time to read it for important information to support the transition to online education.

Let me begin by acknowledging that we are faced with a situation that none of us wanted, or even were able to foresee at the beginning of the semester. The public health crisis is unprecedented and has resulted in many significant changes to everyday life, including changes at Butler and other higher education institutions. It is deeply disappointing for many, if not all, members of our campus community that we will not learn and work together in person in the coming weeks. Yet, by and large, people in our community are coming together virtually to make the best out of a truly challenging situation—with YOU, our students, at the heart of our efforts. 

Faculty have just spent three intensive days preparing for this transition. They are working harder than ever to provide you with the same high-quality educational experience you are accustomed to at Butler. Faculty and staff, alike, have made preparations to ensure our academic support services remain intact during this time period. Just as you may have anxieties about how this will work and how it might affect your grades, our faculty and staff also have anxieties about the best way to support you during this transition.  

Let us keep one point in mind: we are all in this together. Let us go forward knowing that all members of our community enter this transition with expectations of academic excellence, hard work, and grace. I am confident we are up to that task.

The information included below my signature summarizes key pieces of information I want to share with you. These, and other points of information, are available on our FAQ’s, which I encourage you to reference regularly, as we are updating them on an ongoing basis in response to student questions coming forward. I hope this information is useful to you.

In addition to the general information listed below, I would like to address three topics that have received social media attention:

  1. The Butler Cultural Requirement (BCR) has been waived for May 2020 and August 2020 graduates. The requirement remains intact for December 2020 graduates and beyond.
  2. We have announced that Commencement on May 9 has been canceled. I realize how deeply upsetting this is, especially for our graduating students, to have a graduation ceremony canceled. At the time we made this announcement, we also stated that we will soon engage with representatives of the graduating class to discuss options for celebrating and recognizing our graduates. These meetings have not yet happened, but I imagine we will consider a variety of options, including a postponement of commencement to a later date or a major December Commencement ceremony for May and December graduates. Once we have a group of student representatives identified, I would encourage you to share our perspective with those representatives.
  3. I am aware there is a petition to change the grading scale for all classes this semester to pass/fail. Please know that your faculty and academic leaders have carefully considered this approach. There are a variety of reasons it is unwise to change all grades to pass/fail. Briefly, these reasons include inability to transfer P/F grades from one institution to another, lack of assurance of preparedness for subsequent courses, inability to count P/F classes in applications for certain graduate and professional programs. But most importantly, I want you to know that your professors take seriously the task of working with you to support your academic success, even in fully online course delivery. Please discuss your concerns with your professors and your advisors and take proactive steps to succeed by keeping up with your school work and regular attendance at virtual office hours and other academic support mechanisms (listed below). We have extended the deadline for electing the P/F grading option for an individual course, as well as the deadline for withdrawing from a class to April 6.  However, these decisions need to be made in consultation with your advisor to ensure you do not inadvertently compromise your financial aid, prerequisites, or academic plan for your major/minor.

Please remember, we are here to support you as you pursue your academic goals. Do not hesitate to reach out to your professors, your academic advisor, or staff in our various academic support units whenever you need assistance. Although you will be reaching out via email or phone, instead of dropping by in person, the result will be the same—you will find faculty and staff ready to assist you.

With all best wishes for a successful second half of the semester,

Dr. Morris

Kathryn A. Morris, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


Communication Expectations of your Professors and Advisors

  • You should have heard from each of your professors today, Wednesday, March 18, regarding how online teaching and learning will work for your courses.
  • You should hear from your advisor by the end of the day on Friday, March 20 about how advising appointments will work.
  • If you do not hear from a professor or your advisor by these deadlines, please contact your Dean’s office.  

Academic Information

  • Well before this public health crisis and shift to fully online education, Butler has had a policy regarding expectations for online courses. Each 3-credit hour course should have 2.5 hours of active engagement per week (e.g. recorded or synchronous lectures, synchronous or asynchronous discussions, and other substantive engagement) and 5 hours of homework, for a total of 7.5 hours of student engagement per week.  
  • We realize that some of you may not have been able to retrieve your physical copies of readings and other course materials. Faculty are working closely with librarians and other staff on campus to get as many materials as possible posted onto Canvas. In addition, Follett (the company that runs the Butler Bookstore) is partnering with RedShelf, to provide free access to their digital library to students. This does not include all titles used on campus, but should help many of our students. To see if any of your books are available in electronic format for free for the rest of the semester, follow the directions below, using your email to gain access:
  1. Access
  2. Click on the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner on the top banner which contains information regarding free eTextbook options and free shipping.
  3. Click on the link labeled
  4. Students can search for ebooks by title or ISBN (ISBNs can be found under their class information on
  • Students with documented disabilities remain eligible for accommodations. SDS has proactively reached out to the professors who are teaching all students with documented accommodations needs to let them know what to expect. Please communicate with your professors and with SDS personnel if you have any questions or concerns.   

Academic Requirements for Students

  • The Butler Cultural Requirement will be waived for May 2020 and August 2020 graduates. The BCR remains in effect for December 2020 graduates and beyond.
  • Faculty teaching Indianapolis Community Requirement courses are developing ways to allow you to complete the ICR requirement even though additional service hours are not possible. Talk to your professor if you have questions.
  • Students who were recalled from their study abroad experiences partway through the semester, but who complete at least 9-credit hours of coursework, will be waived from one semester of the GHS requirement.
  • The deadline for electing the pass/fail grading option has been changed to April 6. All policies related to pass/fail grading option remain effective:
  • The deadline to withdraw from a course has been changed to April 6. Students and their advisors should consider the potential consequences of dropping below 12 credit hours:

Office Hours, Advising, and Academic Support

  • Faculty will communicate to you how they will hold office hours.  
  • The Speaker’s Lab will schedule synchronous Online (real-time) appointments via Zoom. Students may schedule an appointment at
  • The Writers' Studio, which provides peer tutoring to student writers in all disciplines and classes, will be offering synchronous Online tutoring appointments, in which students will chat (through text or webcam) with a tutor, or asynchronous eTutoring appointments, in which they submit a draft for written feedback from a tutor, through the online portal, WCOnline
  • Tutoring services offered through the Center for Academic Success and Engagement and through academic departments remain available. Please reach out to the same individuals with whom you have worked in the earlier half of the semester to continue tutoring support. If you haven’t used tutoring before and want to now, talk to your professor about how to get tutoring.
  • The Career and Professional Success office continues to support students through virtual appointments with college-based career advisors. Career advisers will also hold drop-in virtual office hours. Virtual workshops are being developed. The office is communicating directly with students about their services for the remainder of the semester.
  • The Center for Faith and Vocation has developed a Spiritual Care Conversation resource. Students (and all members of the Butler community) can click a link to request a Spiritual Care Conversation with CFV staff and advisors from various traditions and backgrounds who are available for care and support. These conversations are private or confidential. Additionally, many CFV Communities are exploring ways of continuing their community gatherings and spiritual practices in online formats.  Further, the CFV is developing plans for virtual conversations, gatherings, and wellness practices about the current coronavirus challenges. 
  • Butler Libraries may be physically closed, but our librarians and staff are ready to help you.  
    • Virtual research support is available via LibChat ( Students can live chat with a librarian their research questions, database access issues, and questions about library services such as book renewals. The hours of the live chat service are Monday–Thursday 8:30 AM–10:00 PM; Friday 8:30 AM–5:00 PM; Saturday closed; Sunday Noon–10:00 PM.  
    • You can also contact the librarian who works with your major by consulting the listing of Subject Librarians.  

For your research needs, Butler Libraries have substantial collections of online databases that include articles and etexts; consult the Library’s online catalog for ebooks; and utilize the librarian-curated LibGuides for your major.  

March 17–COVID-19 Update from President Danko, Extending Online Learning

Dear Butler University Community,

Based on the most recent information available, we have made the difficult decision to extend our online learning through the end of the spring semester. In addition, we are canceling all in-person events for the remainder of the semester, including our campus commencement ceremony scheduled for May 9, 2020.

I am sharing our decisions immediately, and as they are being made in response to new developments, so you can plan accordingly. For example, just in the past 24 hours, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced new restrictions related to events and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett declared a disaster emergency in Marion County, including a watch-level local travel advisory. 

Given the concern for the well-being of our students, families, and campus staff as we support social distancing, we strongly discourage lengthy visits to campus or complete move-out of personal belongings. For those who have not already done so, students may come to campus to retrieve essential personal belongings and whatever is needed for online learning. Students will receive more information over the coming days about the process for moving any remaining possessions out of on-campus housing. 

This is not the way we hoped to finish the semester, especially for the Class of 2020. We share your disappointment, but we strongly believe this was a necessary decision in our new reality and consistent with our mission of serving the greater good.

We are fully committed to honoring and celebrating the Class of 2020. We are investigating ways to coordinate a virtual convening of representatives of the senior class along with relevant University administrators to recognize this milestone in their Butler career.

Thank you for your continued understanding and concern for one another as this situation unfolds. As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our Butler community and those around us. Please visit our website for the latest information, and we will be communicating further in the days ahead as the situation unfolds.

Best regards,

James M. Danko
President, Butler University

March 14, 2020—Update from President Danko on Closing of Residential Housing

Dear Butler University Parents and Students,

I am writing to you late on a Saturday evening, after many hours of campus discussion and consultation with experts, regarding the latest developments on the rapidly evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. As a result of what we know at this point in time, I have reached the very difficult decision that it is in the best interests of our students and community, both campus and surrounding, that Butler close its residential housing until at least April 4, a date consistent with our announced move to online learning. I also recommend that students who live in Greek chapter houses or rental properties adjacent to campus return to their permanent residences during this time.

I recognize this decision may cause unexpected hardship and angst for those students who preferred to return to campus after the spring break. However, the situation has changed considerably, just over the past few days. A national emergency has been declared; local and statewide directives have restricted gatherings; and we have seen travel bans and population lockdowns, most recently in Spain.

There are numerous credible and scientific articles, based on what is occurring in other countries, predicting that the spread of COVID-19 will get exponentially worse over the coming days and weeks. The strain on the U.S. healthcare system will be enormous. I have had recent discussions with leaders across higher education, business, medical, governmental, and athletic organizations. There is now a consistent and shared belief that for the greater good, we need to take every step possible to reduce clusters of people. 

If you are a student who lives in campus housing and needs assistance or would like to request an exemption to continue living on campus through at least April 4 due to extenuating circumstances, please email and the Division of Student Affairs will contact you.

I regret the inconvenience this will cause for so many of you. However, Butler cannot provide the level of medical attention that may be needed for the size of our residential community if we have a significant outbreak or spread of the virus. In addition, any student who is diagnosed with COVID-19 symptoms would need to travel home or self-isolate elsewhere, which could be far more difficult later than it is today, especially if travel restrictions are enacted or transportation becomes limited.

Let me acknowledge there are financial questions regarding how we will handle prorated housing and board charges. While I do not have all the answers at this point, especially since we do not know if we will reopen yet this semester, I am committed to doing what is fair and right. I’d ask for your understanding as we resolve those issues. For now, my primary concern is for you and for the greater good of our campus, region, and country as we all do what we can to reduce the trend line of this dangerous virus.

We will continue to keep you apprised. Please visit our webpage for answers to frequently asked questions, ongoing updates, and additional information.

Sincerely yours,

James M. Danko
President, Butler University



Additional University Updates

March 15, 2020—Provost Morris Message to Students on Online Learning

Dear Butler Students,

As the Chief Academic Officer of the University, I am writing to share information with you as we navigate next steps in the semester. I understand this is a challenging time for the Butler community and for you as students. I am certain you have been receiving and are reviewing University communications related to the actions taken to keep the Butler community safe and contain the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. You may access the University’s webpage dedicated to this issue.

I want to assure you that, as always, Butler faculty, staff, and leadership are doing everything we can to continue to offer you the highest quality education. Faculty are working diligently to move all instruction online beginning on Thursday, March 18. We appreciate your patience as faculty work to ensure your learning continues in an online environment. What faculty have been asked to do under a very constrained timeline is not an easy task or one we would expect them to take lightly. If you have not heard from your instructors, it is likely they are hard at work, in your best interest. You should expect communication from each of your instructors by the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18 about how your courses will proceed in online format. 

In addition to your spring courses, you may be thinking about academic advising and registration for future courses. Faculty will proceed with academic advising on the published timeline, but advising will occur via phone or videoconference. You should expect communication from your academic advisor by the end of the workday on Friday, March 20. 

We have received many important questions from students, and we are working to respond to your questions in a timely and thorough manner. We have created a number of new FAQs about academic matters (see the Virtual Learning section). We are updating the FAQs on a regular basis as additional questions are posed to us, so please check them frequently.

These FAQs cover a range of topics, from learning how to use the technologies (Canvas and Zoom) faculty will be using to deliver course content to information about accommodations for documented disabilities to information about graduation requirements.  One of the most common student questions to date has been about the Butler Cultural Requirement (BCR). Please note that for all students graduating in May 2020 or August 2020, the BCR requirement will be waived. For all students graduating December 2020 or later, the BCR requirement will remain. Again, for more information about BCR and lots of other academic topics, review the FAQ page regularly.

If you have questions that are not answered on the FAQ page, please contact the following:

  • For questions about a specific course, contact the instructor of that course.
  • For questions about an academic requirement or about experiential learning (internships, rotations, student teaching, etc.), contact your college dean’s office.
  • For all other academic questions, contact

In closing, I want to acknowledge that the disruption we are experiencing due to the global health threat is challenging for you. Please know that Butler’s faculty, staff, and administration are working very hard to ensure you are able to complete your coursework this semester and make good progress toward your degrees.  



Dr. Morris

Kathryn A. Morris, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


March 13, 2020—Message to Students from VP, Student Affairs, on Transitioning to Online Education

Dear Butler Students,

We continue to monitor the ongoing and rapidly evolving Coronavirus pandemic. Our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of the Butler community. As you have read in previous campus communications, we are taking decisive, informed action to limit the spread of COVID-19. The University remains open and operational with appropriate measures to protect the health of the Butler community.

The steps we are taking are intended to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Based on the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are asking students to take steps to keep themselves and others safe, including maintaining distance from each other. This is imperative now, during our extended spring break, and as we transition to the period of online education.

In order for us to provide the best support for our students and keep our campus safe during this unprecedented time, it is important for you to complete this COVID-19 form which asks a few health screening questions and also let us know of your intentions to return to campus, or not, following the extended spring break.

Many of you have reached out seeking information about what to do in the weeks ahead as we prepare for online instruction. Answers to questions are available on this Student FAQ webpage that has been added to Butler’s Coronavirus resource page. It addresses returning to residence halls, getting access to personal belongings, dining information, and other non-academic related matters that have risen to the top of our conversations with students and parents.

Please take care of yourself and each other.


Frank E. Ross III, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

March 13, 2020—COVID-19 Updates Regarding Campus Events

The purpose of this message is to provide an important update regarding additional steps we are taking in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The updates are based upon recent directives from the Indiana Governor’s Office, the NCAA, the BIG EAST, and federal and state governmental health agencies as well as decisions made by Butler’s Crisis Management Team. We recognize the safety measures we are taking may be deeply disappointing, but our highest priority is the health and safety of our campus community. 

Listed below are the updates, effective immediately. 

  • All Butler Arts & Events Center Programs Are Canceled through at least April 4, as a result of Governor Holcomb’s new restrictions on “non-essential” gatherings of more than 250 people. This includes not only Butler-sponsored events, but also events at Clowes Memorial Hall and Schrott Center for the Arts. Ticket holders will be notified by email. Visit for more details.
  • All Butler Athletics Spring Competitions Are Canceled. The NCAA and BIG EAST have canceled Division 1 men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all other winter and spring championships. Butler practices and training sessions for all sports have also been paused through at least through April 4, and as a result, our athletics facilities will be closed during this time period. 
  • Health and Recreation Complex Is Closed through April 4. If you have a locker and need to retrieve your personal belongings, Meanwhile, Health Services (317-940-9385) and the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention (SARP) Office will remain open. 
  • A Work-From-Home Option is available through April 4 with supervisor approval. Supervisors should determine what a work-from-home plan will look like for individuals who work in their offices/departments, remaining mindful that the campus remains open and that departments/offices should be staffed during this time. Reducing the number of employees in the workplace is a critical step to protect the health of our colleagues whose jobs cannot be performed from home. If employees have a health condition that places them at greater risk of complications from COVID-19 as defined by CDC guidelines, they should contact Human Resources to discuss their situation. More information about our work-from-home option will be shared with department/division leadership on Monday, March 16. 

As you saw in an earlier communication, we are extending Spring Break through Wednesday, March 18 for all students. Then, classes will resume but will be conducted through virtual instruction on March 19 through at least April 4. Students will get information about those online classes by the end of day on March 18. The Division of Student Affairs will be contacting all Butler students via email today with more information relevant to student life, as well as the request for students to indicate their housing intentions during the online learning period.

Please remember that ‘social distancing’ is essential to controlling a viral pandemic. Avoiding contact with other people will reduce the spread of the disease. Social distancing means staying at least six feet away from other people (whenever possible), limiting social engagements, and avoiding crowds and mass gatherings. When going out, try to avoid peak hours. And, of course, be diligent about washing your hands and avoid touching your face.

As you know, we are experiencing an unprecedented situation that is fluid and changing daily. Nonetheless, we will do our best to make decisions, answer questions, and keep the community apprised. Please visit our webpage for answers to frequently asked questions, ongoing updates, and additional information. 

March 12, 2020 Message from President Danko to Campus Community

An Important Message to the Butler Community

From President James M. Danko
March 12, 2020


Dear Butler Community, 
I hope you have had the opportunity to read my message from last evening regarding immediate steps we are taking in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). If not, I encourage you to visit our website where you can find the message, along with other relevant and up-to-date information.

My sincere thanks to the dedicated people at Butler who have been working tirelessly as we monitor this public health crisis and developing plans for our campus. Our efforts are being done with the highest regard for the greater good of the Butler community as well as the people who live in the surrounding region and are also affected by this dangerous virus. 

The announcement yesterday was the first of many as we address a constantly changing situation involving significant uncertainty ahead. I am sure many of you have questions and, quite frankly, there are some that we are still contemplating as the situation unfolds. Nonetheless, we will do our best to make decisions and keep the community apprised. 

For the moment, however, I would like to simply take pause from the planning and logistics, and provide some thoughts on the current global crisis, our campus situation, and the impact it is having on each of us in a personal and emotional way.

Certainly the Butler community—along with other communities across the nation and the globe—is confronting some very serious challenges. I understand that the never-ending stream of disturbing news, cancellations, and changes to life as we know it weigh heavily on many of us. Indeed, the next few weeks, perhaps months, may be unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetime.

At the same time, I am confident that together we will reach the other side of this crisis and that campus life will return to normal. The preventative measures being taken by organizations such as cities, universities, and sports leagues are critical to confronting this health emergency. At this point, as medical experts work toward positive solutions—which I am confident they will—the best course of action in defeating this outbreak is to undertake aggressive public measures to slow the spread of the virus and to protect our health system from undue burden.

The steps that Butler is taking are intended to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and minimize the number of people sick at any one time. I recognize that young, healthy students who are at low risk comprise the largest population of our community. However, such individuals can still contract and unknowingly spread the virus, which threatens those who are at higher risk—including those students who are immuno-compromised by serious illness or medication.

To our students, especially those who participate in hands-on learning experiences, practices, performances, athletics, and many other activities that cannot be conducted online, I know the safety measures we have taken may be deeply disappointing. You have worked extraordinarily hard to engage in these opportunities, and I regret that this period of your college experience is subject to such uncertainty. As a parent and as your president, I wish I could prevent this. But my highest priority is to keep you safe. 

Unfortunately, you are now one of the generations of Butler students that has had to face a serious public crisis. Although today’s particular health emergency is unprecedented, previous crises faced by Butler students have included wars, illnesses, and disasters, all of which disrupted life and learning and necessitated sacrifices by our community.

You may hear from loved ones that the resilience you gain during periods of hardship will make you stronger in the long run. I can attest to the wisdom of this adage, but also appreciate the fact that hardship is quite distressing at the time it is occurring. Many of us from older generations who have lived through periods of crisis know that together, our Butler community will successfully navigate these uncharted waters. And by joining the effort to mitigate the spread of this disease, you are actually helping to save lives.

To our faculty and staff, I want to thank you for your support, flexibility, and willingness to roll up your sleeves as we do our absolute best on behalf of our students. I recognize that you are doing the great work of the University, in pursuit of our educational mission and the well-being of our students, all while you may be experiencing your own anxiety and uncertainty. I consider myself fortunate to be working alongside you through this challenge, and can’t imagine a group of academic professionals better positioned for success. I am committed to ensuring the University does everything it can to provide support to you and your families.

I ask all of you for your understanding as our plans evolve and change. We have caring and talented people assessing the appropriate course of action for Butler University, but I recognize that our plans may have unexpected ramifications and unintended consequences. I can assure you that while we do not have perfect vision of the manner in which this crisis will be resolved or when our campus life will return to normal, we are doing our absolute best to ensure the well-being of our campus and greater community. I ask for your patience and, as always, welcome your thoughts, questions, and suggestions.

Best regards,

James M. Danko
President, Butler University

March 11, 2020: COVID-19 Update: Extension of spring break, transition to virtual learning

Message to the Butler University Community

From President James M. Danko

March 11, 2020


As we all closely monitor the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), I am writing to share an important update on the situation and our plans for Butler University. Our campus leadership and incident response teams have been continuously assessing this unprecedented health crisis, which has resulted in the development of the action plan below. As part of the process, we have been in regular communication with local and state health departments and have monitored guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The steps I am announcing this evening are being taken with the highest concern for the health, safety, and wellness of our campus community, and I believe are most appropriate, given what we know at this point in time.

While there are currently no confirmed cases at Butler University, we have decided to extend Spring Break through Wednesday, March 18 for students (no classes) and all classes will be conducted through virtual instruction from Thursday, March 19 through at least Saturday, April 4.

  • The three-day extension of spring break for students (March 16–18) will allow faculty additional time to prepare for a successful transition to an entirely online delivery of instruction. Faculty will be hearing more regarding the plans for March 16­–18 from Dr. Kathryn Morris, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • Students will receive information about how online classes will be administered by the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18, and how their advising will be conducted by the end of the day on Friday, March 20. 
  • We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and will decide no later than Saturday, April 4 whether to resume in-person classes.

During this time, Butler’s campus will remain open.

  • We recognize that some students will elect to remain home to take their online courses, whereas others may choose to remain on campus. Student Affairs will communicate with students next week to learn of their intentions.
  • University services—including residence halls, dining facilities, academic support services, and Health Services—will remain open during this time. However, students should contact Health Services if they (i) are sick or experiencing symptoms of an illness; (ii) have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; or (iii) have recently traveled to a Level 3 country as categorized by the CDC.    
  • Our employees are essential to maintaining campus operations and should report to work as usual unless they satisfy any of the three criteria listed above. If employees have a health condition that places them at greater risk of complications from COVID-19 as defined by CDC guidelines, they should contact Human Resources to discuss their situation.

Meetings, events, and other gatherings will be limited.

  • Butler University-sponsored events of more than 50 people will be suspended until further notice. This includes campus lectures, meetings, conferences, admissions events, and student-run events.
  • We are working closely with the BIG EAST and the NCAA regarding Butler Athletics (practices and games). Athletics operations and non-Butler sponsored events, including those at the Butler Arts and Events Center (e.g., Clowes Hall) remain as planned unless otherwise noted.  
  • The University encourages community members to minimize social interactions in large groups, both on- and off-campus, and we are increasing preventative measures to clean campus facilities.  

University-related travel is suspended, unless deemed critical.

  • We are suspending all University-related travel, both international and domestic, until further notice unless deemed critical. Dean or Vice President approval is required for any travel.
  • The University has previously announced that it is not supporting University travel to countries with a CDC travel advisory of a Level 3 (China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy).
  • Anyone traveling for personal reasons is urged to closely monitor their destination and consult the CDC website for restrictions and quarantine information upon arrival or return.

Let me assure the community that I, personally, along with other leaders across campus, understand that these actions will cause inconvenience and disruption. However, we believe these precautionary actions are necessary to protect the Butler community. As you know, the situation is fluid and changing daily, so we will continue to actively monitor the situation and respond accordingly. Please visit our webpage for ongoing updates.

If you have questions not answered by the website, contact information is listed below.

  • For health-related questions, contact Health Services at or 317-940-9385.
  • For academic-related questions, students should contact their instructors, and faculty should contact their Dean.  
  • For study abroad questions, contact the Center for Global Education.
  • For general student-related questions, contact
  • For questions related to student clubs and other activities, contact Student Involvement and Leadership at 317-940-9262 or
  • For staff questions, contact the Office of Human Resources at or 317-940-9355.


James M. Danko
President, Butler University

March 6, 2020 Message from President Danko to Campus Community

Dear Butler Community, 

Today, the Indiana State Department of Health announced that Indiana has its first presumptive positive case of COVID-19, found in a Marion County resident with a recent history of travel to Boston. I want to assure the Butler community that we have been actively engaged in preparing for this eventuality.

As always, the health, safety, and wellbeing of our campus community is our top priority. We remain in ongoing communication with local and state health departments and have been monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with careful attention to the impact COVID-19 could have on our campus. Our webpage and FAQs include information about how to keep yourself healthy, and updates on Butler’s response to the coronavirus situation.

Because this is a rapidly evolving situation, the University’s incident response team has been meeting on a daily basis to assess conditions and develop response plans for a variety of possible scenarios. To prepare for a situation that might disrupt campus operations, Provost Morris has asked faculty to consider ways to use technology for distance learning to allow our students to continue their studies. 

Despite the fact that we are preparing for various scenarios, at this time, our campus operations including classes, events, and activities will continue as normal. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will respond accordingly. And remember, please visit our webpage, and review CDC travel guidelines for more information.

As we always do, we will come together as a community to support one another through this situation. It’s The Butler Way.


James M. Danko
President, Butler University

March 6, 2020—Pre-Spring Break Message to Students

Dear Students,

As Butler’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, I want to touch base as we transition into Spring Break today after classes conclude. Regardless of whether you are going home, staying local, or traveling with a Butler program or on your own, I want to encourage you to exercise extra precautions over the next week to maintain your good health as the coronavirus continues to spread within the United States and elsewhere around the world. Our webpage and FAQs include good information about how to keep yourself healthy and updates on Butler’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

There are not currently any known cases of coronavirus in Indiana, and currently we are planning for spring semester to continue as usual after spring break. However, and as our students who were studying abroad in Italy this semester know first-hand, when the virus surfaces in a community, efforts to curtail the spread of the virus can disrupt daily life and lead universities to cancel classes for a period of time. If this were to happen in Indianapolis and at Butler, we would do everything in our power to allow you to complete the classes you are enrolled in (e.g., through distance learning facilitated using technological tools like Canvas and Zoom), even if we were unable to hold class meetings on campus. Earlier this week, I asked faculty to begin preparing for the possibility of disruptions to our campus, including potential class cancellations—and to develop alternative ways to deliver class content in the absence of in-person class meetings. 

I am confident that if we find ourselves in a situation that requires extended class cancellations, we will come together as a community to get through that challenge while continuing to support your educational goals. And I am hopeful that our contingency planning will not ever need to be put into place.

With that, let’s go into Spring Break with an optimistic mindset, enjoy the downtime, and return on March 16 ready for a strong second half of the semester. And remember, if you have questions about how to keep yourself healthy, please see our webpage and FAQs.

All the best,

Dr. Morris

February 29, 2020—Precautions Against COVID-19

We remain in ongoing communication with local and state health departments and have been monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with careful attention to the impact the coronavirus could have on our campus operations and study abroad programs. As such, we have taken the following measures:  

  1. As of January 2020, we suspended University travel to China until further notice. South Korea, Iran, and Italy were recently included on the CDC list of countries to avoid for nonessential travel. Today we are announcing that we are no longer supporting University travel to these additional countries. At this time, please note there are no Butler students in these countries with the exception of Italy. 
  2. We have been in contact with our students in Italy to strongly recommend that they return home to the United States. The complexity of having our students on multiple study abroad programs, which are managed by outside providers at a variety of universities, will result in different situations that will be handled on a case-by-case basis. In most circumstances, the study abroad programs have distance learning opportunities available and we are working closely with the providers to ensure students are supported. 

    We recognize that students will be disappointed about having their study abroad programs cut short, but the health and safety of our students is our top priority. As a precautionary measure, the students returning to the United States from Italy will be required to self-quarantine away from campus for a period of 14 days before returning to campus. 

  3. We are closely monitoring guidance coming from the CDC and the U.S. Department of State regarding students currently studying abroad and those preparing to study abroad in upcoming academic terms. At this point in time, all future programs, including spring break and summer study abroad programs, are scheduled to move forward. However, this is a rapidly evolving situation and as relevant information becomes available, we will provide appropriate updates directly to affected students, faculty, and staff and to our campus community.
  4. Students who visit Butler Health Services continue to be screened to evaluate the likelihood of exposure to the coronavirus. 

Spring Break Travel Advice

With spring break around the corner, we urge that all students, faculty, and staff pay close attention to the CDC travel guidelines and remain vigilant in practicing precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The University strongly discourages any personal travel to a location with a CDC Level 3 Travel Advisory (currently China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran). Personal travel to these locations could result in an assessment with a health care provider and a required 14-day self-quarantine upon return.

To help protect the campus community from the spread of coronavirus or any other illness, we strongly encourage employees or students who are not feeling well to stay home or in their residence and not come to work or class until symptoms have subsided. The CDC also recommends the following:  

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

We will continue to keep the campus community informed about any new updates on the coronavirus. In the meantime, please visit the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Indiana State Department of Health for more information. 

In order to help you better understand the coronavirus, how it is transmitted and precautions to take to help prevent the spread of the illness, we are providing a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

January 31, 2020—Status Update of COVID-19

Butler University is committed to providing our campus community with important information regarding the status of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 

While no confirmed cases of the virus have been reported at Butler University, we are taking proactive measures by:

  • Screening all student-patients who visit Butler Health Services. The screenings consist of a paper questionnaire to evaluate exposure risk. The exposure criteria that have been identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as risk factors for the 2019-nCoV include the following:
    • Fever AND cough/difficulty breathing within the last 14 days in persons who have traveled from Wuhan City, China, or have been in close contact with a person who is under investigation for Coronavirus.
    • Fever OR cough/difficulty breathing within the last 14 days in persons who have had close contact with a person with a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of Coronavirus.
  • Temporarily suspending University travel to and from China for faculty, staff, and students, but we will continue monitoring the situation and adjust accordingly. No Butler students were studying abroad in China during fall 2019 and we do not have any students in China this semester. If there are any questions regarding future travel to China, please email Jill McKinney, Director of Global Engagement, at
What is Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

2019-nCoV is a newly identified Coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including the United States.

What is the Risk?

The CDC considers the 2019-nCoV virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance that can be accessed here.


There is no vaccine to prevent the 2019-nCoV, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Please remember it is the peak of cold and flu season, so follow these best practices to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We will continue to keep the campus community informed about any new information about the 2019-nCoV.

For more information regarding 2019-nCoV outbreak, testing, and prevention, review the quick links to the right.

If you have questions after reviewing this website and FAQ page, please complete this form which will then be directed to the appropriate department.