OPINION | Butler degree value needs to remain priority

The value of a Butler University degree seems to be getting lost in the shuffle as Butler continues to grow and change.
Recently, President Jim Danko has done a good job of bringing more donations to the university. He has also potentially set the school up for further monetary and athletic success with the Big East move.
However, not every decision Danko and other Butler officials make should be fueled solely by monetary gain.
Danko and the administration need to focus on ensuring Butler students gain a strong education and meaningful degree.
The main reason the majority of students go to college is for a degree that will lead to a career.
Being part of history or change can certainly be a plus, but it is not what students focus on while at school.
Butler officials need to recognize this.
College costs far too much money for the resulting degree to be meaningless.
Butler students would like their degrees to mean something more to potential employers because the Butler name is attached.
Unemployment is down in Indiana from where it sat during the height of the recession. However, the current 8.7 percent rate is still higher than the national rate of 7.6 percent.
Butler students do not want to become another statistic as soon as they leave campus.
Butler’s administration needs to refine its majors so  everyone with a degree has an equal chance to find a job after graduation.
Students across various majors have had trouble working with teachers and advisers to land internships and jobs while in school.
The fact that some students do not have much real-world experience on their resumes does not bode well when they are applying for jobs after graduation.
This should be a focus for Butler administrators when crafting the Butler degree.
With the recent changes, Danko has made comments  suggesting his focus is not on each of his students’ degrees.
In The Collegian’s April 17 article “Funding Butler’s Future,” it was reported that Danko was encouraging faculty members to think about how to keep Butler on the same paths as schools “we aspire to be.”
He posed the question, “What is Stanford doing and how can we get there?”
Danko needs to focus on what is going on at Butler now instead of what other schools are doing and whether Butler is doing those things or not.
He should not try to make Butler into some other university by forcing a major image overhaul. Application numbers suggest this is not necessary.
Danko needs to worry about making sure the Butler degree is meaningful before trying to drastically alter the school.
Devaluing the degree might alienate future alumni.
Butler alumni who do not feel they were given a strong degree or any help toward attaining a career while at Butler are unlikely to donate to the university later on.
That would hurt Butler in many ways and could actually contribute to decreasing the value of a Butler degree.
Major donations and athletic conference changes will help Butler in many ways, potentially benefitting the value of the school’s degrees down the line.
However, for current students, it feels as though quality education and getting help starting a career are being pushed to the wayside.
If Butler degrees are not resulting in students getting jobs, there is one less reason for potential students to consider Butler as a college choice.