In his seventh State of the University message, Butler President James M. Danko on Friday, October 20, said he is pleased with the University’s growth and achievement, and he challenged the community to ask “How can we as a university be better?” and “What can I do to help make us better?”
“As we move forward this year, I would like to challenge everyone in this room to join me in practicing more self-reflection,” Danko said in his speech at the Schrott Center for the Arts. “Let’s ask ourselves hard questions and honestly assess the ways in which we can seek improvement every day—for ourselves, for our teams, and for Butler.”
Overall, Danko said, Butler has made great strides, from the classroom (new programs that include the first student-run insurance company in the nation and a collaboration to record and produce musicians participating in the Indy Jazz Festival) to the city (the University contributed more than 77,000 volunteer hours to the Indianapolis community) to Admissions (applications are currently up over 8 percent compared with this time last year) to Athletics (Men’s Soccer and Tennis winning BIG EAST championships and David Goldsmith being named the BIG EAST Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year).
He noted new construction projects and campus additions, including:
-Irvington House, the 647-bed residence hall being built on the site of former Schwitzer Hall, which opens in fall 2018.
-The Lacy School of Business building currently under construction and slated to open in fall 2019.
-Major upcoming renovation of the science facilities for the first time in more than 40 years. At its most recent meeting, the Butler Board of Trustees approved plans for the construction of a new addition that will connect Gallahue Hall and the Holcomb Building, as well as the renovation of the existing buildings.
-Upcoming finalization of a campus-sharing agreement with Christian Theological Seminary (CTS). In 2018, the College of Education is expected to move to CTS, a spacious location that will better suit its learning objectives.
Danko said the University faces challenges, including the diminishing number of college-age students and the intense competition for good students, “especially in the State of Indiana, where the public universities are quite good,” and from “many private schools in the state that are discounting tuition significantly to fill their classrooms.”
Danko praised the Board of Trustees for holding the 2018–2019 tuition increase to 3.25 percent, the lowest increase in at least the past 11 years, while boosting the financial aid allocation to $68 million.
“I can assure you that we will continue to grow our financial aid in order to help many, many future students to afford a Butler education,” he said. “We remain more committed than ever to providing an exceptional academic experience, one that inspires achievement, growth, and a love of learning in our students.”