Danko adds staff to presidential suite

Butler University President Jim Danko created a new position in his office and filled vacancies in two others, he announced in an April 2 memo.

The university now has an executive assistant to the Board of Trustees, a role filled by Carol Wroblewski.  Wroblewski is a former associate provost at Butler.  She will communicate with trustees  and work to involve them in university events, tasks previously left to the president’s assistant.

Danko hired Heather Vaughn, a former Rolls-Royce official, as his executive assistant. Vaughn replaces former Bobby Fong aide Ellen Clark, who retired after Fong left to become president at Ursinus College.

Cate Marshall replaces the departed Velinda Bennett as office assistant.  Marshall was a board administrator for the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety.

“What is common when you had a president in place as long as Bobby, you have staff changes,” said Ben Hunter, Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Public Safety.  “This restructuring increases our flexibility.”

Hunter moved his office from the Butler University Police Department to the president’s office in January.  Although most of his duties haven’t changed, Hunter assumed one major new one: direct oversight of compliance with state and federal regulations.

“By heart, I’m a policy wonk,” Hunter said. “Now that the staff is in place, it affords me the ability to get to those projects and those issues.”

Hunter said priority must be given to following the Clery Act and Title IX law, and he can now do that by working more closely with Danko.

“It’s a good fit,” he said. “It works out well with my background.”

Wroblewski, approaching 15 years of experience at Butler, said her position is a work in progress since she started work March 19.  She remains in the process of meeting the Board of Trustees.

“It’s fascinating to get to know this diverse group of people so intimately involved with the university,” she said.

Wroblewski holds weekly phone conversations with Chair John Hargrove.

Vaughn is in her fifth week at Butler, and Marshall is in her fourth.  Each said working with Danko is exciting.

“I can appreciate his perspective,” Vaughn said. “He’s business-minded. I have a similar mindset.”

Marshall said the Butler community has been very welcoming.

“I’ve been thrilled with people just stopping by to introduce themselves,” she said.  “I couldn’t be happier.”

Danko was out of town and unavailable for comment.

Hunter said Vaughn, Marshall and Wroblewski fit Danko’s innovative style of leadership.

“You want a president’s office that’s inviting and has great dynamics,” Hunter said. “President Danko has achieved that. It’s nice to have outstanding people who will offer a great atmosphere when people walk in the door.”

Hunter also said having a liaison to the Board of Trustees is a critical step.

“You have the board guiding our university in so many ways, having so many meetings a year, so it is important strategically,” Hunter said.

Wroblewski, who holds a doctorate degree in counseling psychology from Ball State University, said she doesn’t know how Clark managed board relations on top of other

“I am more than busy,” Wroblewski said. “That leads me to believe she was doing an incredible amount of work.”

Wroblewski said the trick, though, is to decide what information is need-to-know.

“That’s the core issue this first year,” she said. “I would hate to waste these busy peoples’ time.”

Vaughn said her biggest job is managing Danko’s calendar.  She said her new position applies many skills used in a 15-year career at Rolls-Royce.

“I just like helping people,” Vaughn said. “I feel that’s what my purpose is. It’s me.”

Vaughn said she has enjoyed Danko’s sense of humor.

“I don’t know if we’ll end up doing practical jokes,” she said, “but we’ll keep it lighthearted.”

Vaughn applied to be Danko’s aide after serving with Hunter on Indianapolis’ Super Bowl Host Committee.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Butler is a wonderful place to work,” Vaughn said.  “I felt I made a very good decision. It’s proven so.”


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