Dean Danko connects with students, embraces technology with new blog

Gregory Doyle

Villanova School of Business Dean James Danko’s new blog is available on the VSB Web site and reflects his interest in effectively using technology to reach out to Villanova students.

The first entry was posted on March 31, and Danko has updated his blog on a weekly basis. Topics vary for each entry, from business to basketball.

According to Danko, the subjects of his blog are contingent upon what is going on in his life at that time.

“I don’t want to be a cheerleader for Villanova,” Danko said. “My entries will be reactions to current events. They’ll provide appropriate commentary on the business school and the rest of the business world.”

Danko’s blog was the brainchild of Madonna Marion-Landais, associate dean of External Relations; Andrea Carter, coordinator of Marketing and Public Relations; Bethanie Anderson, senior communications associate; and Danko himself.

The idea was pitched between three to four months before its launch, and the team spent the remaining time deciding how the blog would be presented and what content would comprise it.

“We were interested in the whole nature of finding a new avenue to reach out to students,” Danko said. “The larger scheme was to provide a voice for the Villanova School of Business through expressing my own opinions that are related to the business school’s curriculum.”

Danko’s last entry discusses a recent meeting he attended to help coordinate a presentation hosted by Gary Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Harrah’s Entertainment.

Danko expressed a certain amount of pride and excitement he feels in Villanova’s abilities to attract such high-level executives.

“It truly is a great opportunity to connect our classroom efforts with the practice of management – and there is no time like the present to gain new perspectives into best business practices,” Danko wrote.

Readers of the blog are encouraged to leave comments for each entry, either responding the content of Danko’s post or exchanging ideas with others on the comment board.

The new blog is just one of many vehicles Villanova uses to reach out to its community.

While older alumni still prefer hard copies of ‘Nova updates and others favor e-mails, Danko’s blog appeals to a younger demographic that finds lengthy e-mails too tedious to peruse.

“This is a more contemporary form of communication that allows me to connect with the Villanova community,” Danko said.

“It’s also important to consider how you market and position the business school as time progresses. We need to shift the way we think and communicate.”

By embracing the onset of new forms of technology, the business school will remain vanguard in its approaches to teaching business.

These efforts are an important factor that distinguishes the School of Business from others throughout the nation.

“Since my arrival at VSB, I’ve instituted an open-door policy in an effort to best serve our community,” Danko wrote in his first entry.

“Through office hours, student luncheons, special celebrations, town hall meetings, faculty and staff discussions, alumni events, and parent outreach, my goal has been to communicate and – much more importantly – listen to all VSB constituents to learn what’s on your mind.”

Since November of 2008, a blog for the College of Arts and Sciences has also been available.

It is regularly updated by faculty and administrators of the College and, like Danko’s blog, is meant to keep students informed on upcoming events and news.

Danko plans to keep his blog updated throughout the summer on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

In agreement with his open-doors policy, he opens this virtual door to provide the Villanova community with an external source of communication.