Nearly 100 faculty pitch in to train fellow colleagues for online instruction

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When Butler shifted to 100% online instruction in response to COVID-19, faculty and staff took full advantage of the two-week extended spring break. College leadership made the difficult decision to move all instruction online for the safety of its students, faculty and staff during this unprecedented concern for public health.

“Butler has offered a robust online delivery system for more than 20 years and now we are leaning heavily on those resources during this time of greater technologies into their teaching process. They work to grow faculty professionally and strive to create stronger teaching and learning environments in the classroom. Faculty Development regularly provides workshops and weekend training for faculty and has become a strong “faculty training faculty” program.

That peer-to-peer instruction is paying off. In this time of heavy lifting for online delivery, nearly 100 Butler faculty came to the front lines willing and work they are doing to help students adjust is just as inspiring. We are really trying to ensure our level of support for our students doesn’t change in the transition.”

Team teaching among instructors for some classes is also a part of the plan, which will put two instructors into certain classes with students.

“We typically have just over 640 sections that are either totally online or have an online component of some need,” said Dr. Kimberly Krull, Butler president. “Though we are working remotely, we are encouraging teamwork and collaboration as we seek solutions to various learning needs.”

Since 1998, Butler’s Educational Technology department, though titled different things over the years, has existed to support faculty behind the scenes as they prep courses for online delivery. Often Educational Technology is also utilized by students who need technical assistance.

Likewise, the Faculty Development department has a history of helping faculty innovate and integrate new equipped to help others who have not taught online at all, or perhaps have had limited exposure.

Educational Technology, Faculty Development and Academics mobilized quickly to create a strong support system for students, faculty and staff. And it was all done remotely. They quickly launched online training sessions twice-a-day, every day for faculty over the spring break hiatus.

“The support our instructors are showing each other is amazing and energizing,” said Heather Rinkenbaugh, dean of online, high school and community learning. “In addition, the sort,” said Lori Winningham, academic vice president. “Fortunately, all Butler faculty are required to use our academic platform, CANVAS, whether or not their classes are online. This common knowledge has really aided our efforts as instructors and staff pull together to get everything online for next week.”

Butler’s Critical Incident Management Team continues to meet daily to assess the latest developments and to make the necessary decisions facing them. The latest information can be found at

Summer Plus

College Police Partner for Jurisdiction of Villas

Prior to COVID-19, police from Butler Community College began responding to calls at Grizzly Villas, where about 150 students live, after signing an agreement with the city of El Dorado.

The memorandum of understanding, approved by the city in December and the college in January, gives campus police “extended jurisdiction so that we can patrol and enforce state statutes at the Villas,” said Jason “Jake” Kenney, Butler’s police chief and director of public safety.

Butler police Chief Jake Kenny

“The state statutes describe our jurisdiction as campus properties or properties we are using and the roads immediately adjacent,” Kenney said. “That is left to interpretation. BG stadium for instance, we have a stake in that with the city and schools as well as we host sporting events there. The Villas on the other hand is owned by a private company. With the MOU in place, there is no interpretation needed. It spells it out.”

The only tenant of the Villas who is not a student is a maintenance worker, Kenney said. It makes sense for campus police to patrol the apartments.

“These are our students over there,” he said, adding that the El Dorado Police Department “has a heavy workload patrolling the city, and the Villas are on the edges of their jurisdiction. We know the Butler students on a first-name basis. We have a rapport with them and the management of the Villas.”

Campus officers are now dispatched to calls at the complex. The public safety department let students know about the new system before it went into effect.

“We want the students to have the ‘college experience,’ but we also want them to be responsible and safe,” Kenney said. “More important, we want the students to be comfortable with our officers so they will report issues happening at the Villas. Calls for the Villas have dropped significantly with our presence. Our goal is zero sexual assaults and decreased personal crimes.”

Bill Rinkenbaugh, vice president of student services at Butler, said the positive relationship with the city and the MOU enables Butler to enhance the positive educational environment at the Villas similar to what campus police provides on all campus locations.

“When students feel safe and have fewer distractions caused by loud and unruly behavior, they have an overall better living and learning experience."

Butler County Mill Levies 2009-2019



Sports Authority Report

Officially owned by the Educational Facilities Authority of Butler County, BG Stadium Veterans Sports Complex is a collaborative project between the City of El Dorado, Butler Community College and El Dorado Public Schools USD 490. Check out the latest report to see how BG Products Veterans Sports Complex has made a difference in El Dorado here.

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