James M. Danko Biography
Since becoming the 21st President of Butler University in 2011,
James Danko has devoted himself to the development and realization
of the University's new strategic plan, Butler 2020. This ambitious
plan guides Butler toward national recognition as a thought-leader
in transformative, student-centered higher education by 2020.
An innovator at heart and in experience, President Danko was a
successful entrepreneur in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, for
nearly two decades before beginning his academic career. He leads
with a mindset of stewardship, collaboration, creativity, and
believes that a liberal-arts foundation, coupled with strong
professional education and experiential learning, fosters student
success after graduation. In 2012, he established the Butler
Innovation Fund, an unprecedented source of seed money that allows
the University to invest in visionary approaches to teaching,
research, and service created by faculty, staff, and students.
Butler 2020 was designed to support and strengthen the
University's academic mission and rich tradition of engaged
education. To that end, President Danko has championed upgrades to
the University's learning and living facilities. Over the past
three years, Butler has undertaken major renovations to Clowes
Memorial Hall and Hinkle Fieldhouse; completed the new Howard L.
Schrott Center for the Arts; received a $10 million grant from the
Fairbanks Foundation to support the renovation and construction of
science facilities at the University; and partnered with the City
of Indianapolis to transform its main thoroughfare, Sunset Avenue,
with landscaped medians, bicycle lanes, new street lighting, and
green infrastructure. In 2015, construction will begin on two
projects that will change the face of Butler: a world-class,
600-bed student-housing facility and a 1,038-space, multi-use
parking structure. In addition, President Danko has signed American
College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which
pledges Butler to achieve net climate neutrality.
Further advancing Butler's goals, President Danko collaborated
with the President of Christian Theological Seminary to launch the
Desmond Tutu Center in 2013. The Center, opened with the personal
participation of Archbishop Tutu, focuses on leadership development
in social justice and reconciliation and reflects Butler's
commitment to global citizenship.
President Danko also oversaw Butler's move to the new BIG EAST
Conference in 2013. This partnership, which matches Butler with
other high-quality academic institutions, provides unprecedented
opportunities for Butler's student-athletes and raises the
University's national profile. President Danko also serves on the
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I
Presidential Advisory Group.
President Danko is deeply committed to Butler's service as an
"anchor institution" within the city of Indianapolis and the state
of Indiana, viewing this role as fundamental to Butler's founding
mission and academic objectives. As such an anchor, Butler acts as
a premier resource not only for its own students, but for current
and future generations of Hoosiers.
Before coming to Butler, President Danko served as Dean of the
Villanova School of Business and as Associate Dean at the Tuck
School of Business at Dartmouth College. President Danko also
taught entrepreneurship and served in leadership roles at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Babson College, and
the University of Michigan.
President Danko 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.
President and Mrs. Danko live on the Butler campus in the historic
Carter House and frequently open their home to students and
community guests for dinners and casual conversation.