Butler President James M. Danko on Friday outlined a vision of the University that includes new academic, housing, and parking facilities; development of strong leadership and engaged employees; and a safe and secure campus environment.
In his fourth State of the University speech, Danko gave faculty and staff a view of 49th Street and Sunset Avenue that by 2016 will include:
-A 1,038-space parking facility with first-floor retail space, located behind Clowes Memorial Hall.
-A state-of-the-art, 640-bed housing facility located in the Irwin Library parking lot.
-A newly configured, beautified streetscape along Sunset Avenue.
In addition, Danko offered a first look at a new science building that is still in the planning stages.
“When we talk about Butler 2020, that’s the vision,” Danko said to an overflow crowd at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. “We are moving ahead with this. It’s challenging work and challenging times, but we’re really confident, given the greatness of this University, that we’re going to succeed.”
Danko said that, in addition to investing in its facilities, Butler needs to invest in its leaders, faculty, and staff so they can help the University navigate the complexities of the current world of higher education.
“In order for us to do that, we must have people in place that are able to get us there,” he said, adding, “We’re the stewards of this University. We need to leave this a better place.”
Danko cited a long list of Butler’s achievements during the past year, including the growth of online classes (now nearing 50, up from zero two years ago), the renovations of Hinkle Fieldhouse and Clowes Hall, and the move to the BIG EAST conference. He said the University had a strong financial year in 2013–2014, with tuition, summer revenues, athletic revenues and the endowment up, and the discount rate down slightly.
He also talked about the need to prevent sexual violence on campus. Danko said Butler is part of a coalition with Indiana, Purdue, Ball State, and Notre Dame in the area of federal regulations pertaining to campus sexual assaults.
“We have to do everything we can to ensure that we’re providing the environment, that we’re providing the culture, that we’re providing everything needed to ensure students are being taken care of,” he said.
A Butler Presidential Commission on sexual assaults is focusing on assessment, education, and prevention.
Danko, who will address first-year students and their parents on Sunday, said part of his message will be: “We are going to do everything we can, but, the one thing we can’t do is—we can’t be in every building or every student housing unit where something might happen. [Students] have a responsibility, too. They need to help us by protecting each other.”