The state of Butler University is stronger than ever—from the accomplishments of students and faculty, to important changes in the campus environment, to record enrollments—but the University is ready for the challenges ahead, President James M. Danko told members of the campus community on Friday.
“Overall, the state of our University is extremely strong,” Danko said during the State of the University Address. “Our student outcomes, such as placement rates and future career and life success, are excellent, and our community is making a positive impact in the world—both locally and globally. But the complex challenges ahead for private institutions like Butler—from shifting demographics to a nationwide focus on the cost of higher education—are greater than ever.”
On Friday, October 11, Butler faculty and staff gathered in the Schrott Center for the Arts to celebrate achievements from the past year while discussing ways to grow and overcome challenges moving forward.
Danko went on to explain that Butler is confronting those challenges with innovative goals through Butler Beyond, the University’s largest ever comprehensive fundraising campaign and new strategic direction. The strategy focuses on helping Butler embrace the inclusivity at its foundation while expanding educational opportunities for all kinds of learners, making a quality Butler education more accessible to everyone.
Also at the Friday afternoon event, Board of Trustees Chair Jay Sandhu announced that the contract of Danko has been extended through August 2024.
After highlighting several successes from students, faculty, and staff, Danko announced that this year’s University-wide budget surpluses will allow Butler to reinvest in the campus community, including changes such as the recently approved raise pool of 2 percent, the reduction of some health insurance premium rates, and the decision to waive Health & Recreation Complex membership fees for all full-time employees.
“Our progress is encouraging, but we can, and will, do even better as we make diversity, equity, and inclusion a deliberate and central aspect of our work across all areas of the University,” Danko said. “From the accomplishments of our students and faculty to the significant progress being made on our campus environment; from the strength of the Butler brand and enrollments to our sound fiscal management, I hope you can see the clear evidence—as I do—that the state of Butler University is stronger than ever.”
But that doesn’t mean it’s time to rest, Danko said. The University must remain nimble and open to change, which is why Butler Beyond is not a strict outline of specific projects for the next few years. Instead, it’s a flexible plan with room to breathe, Danko says—“a clear vision that ensures we’re pointed in the right direction when it comes to educational quality, expectations, and outcomes.”
To conclude the event, six Butler staff members were honored with Difference Maker Awards. These annual awards celebrate the talent, dedication, and care for students that staff members bring to Butler every day.
2019 Difference Makers:
- Bonnie Danison, Senior Gift and Records Specialist
- Priscilla Cobb, Assistant to the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Mary Hinds, Senior Instructional Designer
- Margie Zentz, Administrative Specialist
- Courtney Rousseau, Career Advisor
- Tracey Mills, Teaching Lab Coordinator
What: Strategy Discussion
When: Monday, October 14, 1:30–3:30 PM
Where: Business Building, Room 234
Who: Join Provost Kate Morris, President Danko, VP of Strategy and Innovation Melissa Beckwith
If you missed the State of the University, be sure to check out the full video here
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