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Villanova Business Dean James M. Danko Becomes 21st President of Butler University

VILLANOVA, Pa., April 27, 2011—Villanova University President the Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A, announced today that James M. Danko, The Helen and William O'Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business, will be leaving Villanova to become the 21st president of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Founded in 1855, Butler University is a nationally-recognized comprehensive institution that blends the liberal arts with professional education. Butler enrolls 4,640 students across six academic colleges: Business, Communication, Education, Fine Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Butler is ranked as the No. 1 "Up-and-Coming" institution and the No. 2 university in the Regional Universities Midwest category of the 2011 U.S. News & World Report America's Best Colleges. The University’s picturesque 290-acre campus is hailed as one of the most attractive in the Midwest for its park-like setting, and the Butler Bulldogs men's basketball team has riveted the nation in recent years with its outstanding NCAA-championship performances.

“Jim Danko has provided our School of Business with extraordinary leadership,” said Fr. Donohue, Villanova University President. “When Jim was appointed as dean in 2005, he said that he wanted to leave the School a better place than he found it, and that’s precisely what he’s done. We’re extremely grateful for his contributions to Villanova, and know that Butler University will benefit tremendously from his vision, talent, and leadership strength.”

Throughout his Villanova tenure, Jim Danko emphasized faculty recruitment, retention, and support as crucial to the provision of outstanding academic programs. He also successfully engaged external constituents in the achievement of Villanova’s vision, and financial giving to the School more than quadrupled during his deanship. Working closely with alumni, he also led the establishment of a “one-stop-shop” undergraduate program services center, which now serves hundreds of business students each week. 

“Jim has done an exceptional job of advancing the programs and reputation of our business school, while maintaining the centrality of our Catholic and Augustinian values and our Liberal Arts curriculum,” said the Rev. Kail Ellis, O.S.A., Vice President of Academic Affairs and former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Jim has been a dynamic leader and a great colleague.”

Jim Danko joined Villanova after serving at top national institutions including Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan.  Prior to his academic career, he was a successful business leader for nearly two decades in his home city of Cleveland, Ohio. His experience as a company president, his open-book management style, and his interest in entrepreneurship and innovation provided an important foundation for his collaborative leadership approach in higher education.

“The Villanova community will always hold an important place in my heart, and I’m honored to have been entrusted with the leadership of the School of Business for the past six years,” said Danko. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and look forward to seeing Villanova achieve even greater levels success in the years to come.”

Danko’s presidential appointment will begin at Butler University in August 2011, at which time Kevin Clark, Senior Associate Dean of the Villanova School of Business, will become Interim Dean. Details on the search are forthcoming.

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) is a premier educational institution that is nationally ranked for its undergraduate, graduate programs, and executive education programs.  BusinessWeek has ranked VSB as the #7 undergraduate business program in the nation. VSB's executive MBA program is ranked #25 in the world by BusinessWeek. Founded in 1922, VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex, and fast-paced world of business.

Villanova University is a co-educational Roman Catholic institution founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information see