IBJ Podcast: Butler prez talks university’s finances, future as challenges loom

Butler University President James Danko (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Experts say smaller, private colleges and universities could be in trouble in the coming years as demographic trends mean there will be fewer students to fill an increasing number of spots at schools.

Butler University James Danko tells podcast host Mason King that the university is taking those concerns seriously and is rethinking who it’s serving, how it’s distinguishing its offerings and the way it’s preparing to innovate as technology changes education.

The school is in a good financial position, Danko says, but it’s working to build up its endowment (which is smaller than some of its peers). That’s just one of the goals of the Butler Beyond campaign, which is aiming to raise $250 million that also will fund building projects and additional scholarships.

To learn more about Danko, read Samm Quinn’s profile of the Butler president. To learn more about the challenges facing universities as demographics change, read Quinn’s story about what universities are doing to prepare to compete.

Click here to find the IBJ Podcast each Monday. You can also subscribe at iTunesGoogle PlayTune In and Spotify. Here are some of our recent podcasts:

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Photo by IBJ’s Eric Learned.

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3 thoughts on “IBJ Podcast: Butler prez talks university’s finances, future as challenges loom

  1. I would think that Butler is in better shape than many smaller, liberal arts colleges and universities. For example, Butler has a pharmacy school that most others do not. This would seem to be a competitive advantage to me.

  2. Can someone help me understand how the inflation of fees charged by higher education institutions like Butler have outpaced almost every other element of our economy other than health-care – and YET – they’re in financial trouble? I don’t understand what it’s going to take to get them to respond to pressures from consumers who have to look elsewhere for affordable college education.

    I believe they got caught up in the race to build more impressive campus facilities and dorm rooms and passed those costs on to consumers (parents and students) who didn’t understand the true cost of the loans, “grants” and funds they were “receiving”.

    When you put a financier between the business (college, hospital, doctor) and the customer (student, parent, patient) you see runaway costs because the end-user doesn’t feel the “pain” of having to pay for service.

    Forgive my rant but as I save to send my kids to college, I’m paying $25,000 – $30,000 per year for private health-care insurance (we’re self employed) with a high-deductible plan and $10,000 out-of pocket per year (not including premiums obviously).

    Just my thoughts…

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