Here’s what you need to know about the fall 2020 semester at Butler

Butler University is planning for a fall opening after classes moved online in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. Collegian file photo. 


During the spring of 2020, Butler University moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic. The university is now planning for a fall return to campus, and that educational experience may look different depending on the coronavirus’ ongoing impact. Butler will continue to notify the community with updates as the situation changes. 

The Butler Collegian will continue to update this story as more information becomes available. 

1:00 p.m. May 21

On May 21, Butler president James Danko announced Butler is planning to return to campus for the fall 2020 semester. Danko did not provide official dates or details in the email announcement, but the message stated university leadership is working to prepare for a safe educational experience for students. 

Some of the safety adjustments being planned by university leadership listed in the email include reductions in density in campus spaces like classrooms, residential housing and dining services.

“Of course, everything is premised on our No. 1 concern, which is the safety of our students and the safety of everyone that works on the Butler campus,” Danko said in a video linked in the email. 

Since there is still uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, Butler’s plan for a fall 2020 opening could be uprooted by health risks or imposed restrictions. 

Indiana governor Eric Holcomb has announced a five-stage plan to re-open Indiana, and the fifth stage will occur during the week of July 5. In this stage, restrictions will be lifted but social distancing will still be recommended. However, that roadmap, and Butler’s, is subject to change based on new information from the CDC. 

“We’ll be monitoring the health situation, we’ll be listening to the experts and the government leaders as we move forward. But know that we’ll continue to plan for a fall opening,” Danko said in the video.

Other Indiana universities have announced their plans for the fall semester as well. Notre Dame will start the fall semester in person on Aug. 10, two weeks before the original start date. Additionally, the university will forgo all breaks and end the semester before Thanksgiving. Similarly, Purdue University will begin in-person classes on Aug. 24 and run straight through Nov. 24 without breaks. 

If the university’s intended plan changes and virus risks increase, Danko’s email stated Butler will be prepared to shift to distanced or hybrid education for periods of time.