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
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.