Butler University President Jim Danko said he wants his inauguration to usher in a new era for the university and its students.
Danko spoke to students at the Student Government Association meeting on Oct. 5 about his vision.
“I want to know how students want the university to be in 2020 or 2030,” Danko said, prompting students to speak their minds about what they want from the event.
Many students said they want the administration to focus more on academics in this new time in Butler’s history.
“I think Butler has good academics already, but I want to see Danko take it to the next level,” senior chemistry major Eric Shoemaker said. “I think that would make Butler more prestigious.”
Junior English writing major Andrew Erlandson agreed with Shoemaker’s sentiment.
“I was at the SGA meeting when Danko talked, and I liked his idea of getting national recognition for academics for Butler,” Erlandson said. “I think now we are pigeon-holed in basketball being our thing, but if we can expand in terms of academics, that would be great.”
Junior history and anthropology major Megan Cullen said she thought diversity could help Butler.
“In this new era I would hope the focus would be more diversity, academic-wise and within Butler in students,” Cullen said. “I would want to see more institutions and classes just to bring more options on campus.”
Others said they want Danko to focus on preparing students for life after college.
“I want him to make sure students come first,” freshman physician assistant major Emma Sprague said. “I think he and the faculty should do all they can to prepare us for the next stage after college.”
Some students said they like the path the university is on and do not want many changes.
“I actually like the direction [Butler is] headed in now,” sophomore engineering major Caitlin Wunderlin said. “If President Danko wants to take us in a new era, I think he should keep Butler like it is now and keep the university small and like a community. That’s one of the reasons why I came here.”
Danko said he would consider all the thoughts of students.
“The inauguration is not about me,” Danko said. “It is about the university. I want students to know that their opinions matter, so I want the students to let me know what they want to see from me.”
Other members of the inauguration committee said they hope that the efforts are apparent to students during the event.
“I think Danko is doing an excellent job of listening to everyone, and I hope the student body recognizes that,” Committee Chair Gary Butkus said.
Students can participate in the inauguration by attending the robing ceremony in the Johnson Board Room in Robertson Hall at 9 a.m. Nov. 12.
At the ceremony, students will robe Danko in academic regalia, officially welcoming him to the university. From there, students will escort Danko to the Installation Ceremony at Clowes Memorial Hall at 10 a.m.
“[The committee] wanted to incorporate something that was very student focused,” Inauguration Butkus said. “This event is very significant because students will be bringing Danko as president into the university.”