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Butler plans for a very different fall semester

School president outlines plans to students
Butler University Campus.PNG
Posted at 9:40 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 21:41:11-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Butler University President James Danko has a prediction for the fall semester at the Indianapolis school.

He shared it Thursday in a letter to students. "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."

Danko and other colleges administrators across the state and country are planning for the fall semester after closing their schools in March over COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. "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," he wrote.

While hardly a small school, Danko said 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," Danko wrote.

Danko said Butler is working to expand safety measures such as reductions in the density of classrooms, residential housing, dining rooms, 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," he wrote.