Inauguration of James M. Danko

James M. Danko Biography 

Since becoming the 21st president of Butler University in 2011, James Danko has led ambitious plans for Butler to Imagine, Explore, and Achieve national recognition by the year 2020, as a thought-leader in transformative, student-centered higher education.

Through his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach, Butler has strengthened its commitment to develop dynamic new programs, embrace experiential learning and community engagement, and create a campus environment equipped to serve the needs of an increasingly diverse and engaged student population.

President Danko leads with a philosophy called "the presumption of yes," which challenges the Butler community to imagine and strive toward the institution it can become, free from constraints or boundaries. In 2012, he established the Butler Innovation Fund, seed money that allows the University to invest in innovative approaches to teaching, research, and service that foster creativity and facilitate collaboration.

In 2013, President Danko oversaw Butler's move to the new BIG EAST Conference. This new partnership, which matches Butler with other high-quality academic institutions, will boost Butler's national profile, improve student and faculty recruitment efforts, and enhance the value of a Butler education.

This fall, he collaborated with the president of the neighboring Christian Theological Seminary to launch the Desmond Tutu Center. The new center's focus on leadership development in social justice and reconciliation reflects Butler's commitment to diversity and the cultivation of international relationships.

In his ultimate vision for Butler's future, President Danko foresees a university that will stand out among its peers by providing exceptional student learning experiences that prepare graduates to make a lasting and positive impact in the world.

Previously, he taught entrepreneurship and raised the national profiles of business programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Babson College, and the University of Michigan.

An innovator at heart and in experience, President Danko was a successful entrepreneur in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, for nearly two decades prior to his academic career.

He received his bachelor's degree in religious studies from John Carroll University and his master of business administration from the University of Michigan. He is married to Bethanie Danko and has two daughters, Melanie and Meredith.