Since launching the Butler Beyond strategic direction in October 2019, considerable progress has been made in actualizing this vision through new strategic programs and initiatives designed to extend Butler’s reach beyond today’s students and beyond the current borders of campus. The Butler Beyond vision statement provides a guiding blueprint for how and why Butler is pursuing these strategic efforts:

Butler University is at the crossroads of tradition and transformation. Our founding ideals of educational equity and academic excellence compel us to boldly innovate and expansively educate—thereby strengthening the positive impact we make on the learners and communities we serve.

With the help of committed community partners, this vision is coming to life through a number of new programs and collaborative initiatives.

“These programs and partnerships are examples of our strategic efforts to take Butler Beyond by co-creating in-demand programs and experiences and expanding the way we think about the future of education.”

Melissa Beckwith ’00, Vice President for Strategy and Innovation


Earlier this year, Butler teamed up with UnitedHealthcare to create the UnitedHealthcare Academy at Butler University. The program is designed to provide a career pathway for students looking to begin a profession in health insurance. Through the multi-year program, students gain the foundational knowledge, skills, and experience that will prepare them for consideration for a full-time position with UnitedHealthcare upon completion of the program and graduation from Butler.

Open to any first-year student, the program includes full-time paid internship-based experiences in the summer and part-time work-based experiences with UnitedHealthcare during the academic year. Participants who complete the program will earn a degree in Marketing with a focus in Risk Management and Insurance from the Lacy School of Business.


Beginning in fall 2020, students and faculty in the Lacy School of Business collaborated with Conexus Indiana on a research project to examine the supply chain networks of Indiana manufacturers. The goal of the research was to analyze the resiliency of the supply chains by gaining insights into all of a manufacturer’s various tiers of suppliers, identifying potential weak spots in the chain. With the help of the research, Indiana manufacturers will be able to strengthen their supply chains by addressing identified weak spots and reducing the impacts of unexpected disruptions such as those brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent global weather events.

“This collaborative research project will have real-world impact on manufacturers and consumers throughout the state and beyond,” Jane Siegler, Assistant Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management, says. “Our initial research focused on 40 Indiana companies that represented 20+ industries with presence in 11 different countries, generating about $1.07 trillion dollars and 2.3 million jobs worldwide, 115,000 of which were in the state of Indiana. We were able to uncover more than 20,000 supply network relationships and identify the top critical suppliers, and this is just the beginning. Any time we can put the expertise of our students and faculty to work for the benefit of our community, it’s a win-win for everyone.”


Earlier this year, Butler announced the launch of two new online master’s degree programs that will begin in January 2022, and the relaunch of a third, in partnership with Noodle, the country’s fastest-growing online learning network. Along with an online MBA program and a Master of Science in Strategic Communication, Butler is also offering a Master of Science degree in Data Analytics, which is available in three different concentrations: Business Analytics, Healthcare Analytics, and Bioinformatics.

The Healthcare Analytics and Bioinformatics tracks in particular were developed with input from several of the nation’s leading health and pharmaceutical companies in Indianapolis, including Eli Lilly and Roche, in an effort to ensure the programs are preparing learners with the technical and soft skills employers need in one of the state’s fastest-growing job markets.

“This new online degree option offers students an exciting pathway to a career or upskilling in a growing industry,” says Bob Soltis ’87, Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “We are especially pleased to partner with future employers when developing this program to ensure our graduates have the skills they need to succeed.