James Danko will remain President of Butler University through at least August 2026, following action taken by the University’s Board of Trustees, who voted unanimously to extend his contract for three years. The new contract includes one-year renewal options beyond 2026.
“Under Jim Danko’s leadership, Butler University has flourished for more than a decade,” Keith Faller ’71, MBA ’78, Chair of Butler’s Board of Trustees, said. “Butler’s national prestige and academic reputation have never been better. We’ve just successfully completed the largest fundraising campaign in the University’s history, our enrollment numbers are strong, the campus has been transformed, and, most importantly, our graduates are in high demand and making a difference in communities across the globe. Jim deserves a great deal of credit for that success.”
Danko joined Butler University in November 2011 after a six-year term as the Dean of the School of Business at Villanova University. During his tenure, Butler has risen to become the No. 1 ranked University in the Midwest Region, according to US News & World Report, in each of the past five years. In 2022, the University exceeded its $250 million fundraising goal for the Butler Beyond campaign, the largest fundraising effort in its history.
Danko is also credited with several campus improvements, including renovations to Hinkle Fieldhouse, Clowes Hall, and sciences facilities; the construction of new academic buildings and residence halls, including Dugan Hall, Levinson Family Hall, Irvington House, and Fairview House; and the acquisition of property previously owned by Christian Theological Seminary. In addition, Butler’s move to the BIG EAST Athletic Conference following back-to-back runs to the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game has helped elevate Butler’s brand nationally and brought in additional revenue from television rights.
“Butler has come a long way under Jim’s leadership, but that’s not why the Board wanted to extend his contract,” Chair-elect Jeff Blade ’83 said. “Jim has a vision for the future, and the Board shares that vision. As the incoming Board Chair, knowing that Jim will be here for at least three more years gives me great comfort. Butler is well poised for the future.”
At the conclusion of last year’s Butler Beyond campaign, Danko introduced his vision for the future of Butler’s campus with a video titled Imagine the Possibilities. The projects under consideration include a hotel, retirement community, outdoor amphitheater, improvements to Hinkle Fieldhouse and athletics facilities, and improved access to campus and the surrounding neighborhood.
“There are many challenges facing higher education, and Butler University is not immune to those challenges,” Danko said. “We have an outstanding leadership team in place, a highly engaged Board, a loyal alumni base, and a faculty and staff that are committed to the success of our students. It’s a privilege to serve alongside them, and I am confident we will meet those challenges together. Bethanie and I love this community, and we are extremely grateful to the Board for this opportunity to continue serving Butler University.”