Richard Burkhardt was appointed as Acting President after John Pruis resigned in 1978. He had joined Ball State as Dean of the College in 1952, after serving as director of the division of teacher preparation at Syracuse University. When Ball State became a university in 1965, Burkhardt was appointed Vice President for Instructional Affairs and Dean of Faculties. He was instrumental in establishing the universitys London Centre program, Town and Gown Lectureship series, and the Kirkpatrick Memorial Workshop on Aging. Following his term as president, Burkhardt was named Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. He served in that capacity until 1980 when he decided to return to full-time teaching and research in the history department.