Topic: Administrative

December 14, 2012

The Ball State University Board of Trustees has approved the university's "Education Redefined 2.0: Advancing Indiana" strategic plan. The plan places high-impact learning experiences such as immersive learning at the center of the university's education agenda, while meeting the needs of the state.

Ball State will continue to differentiate itself from other universities by continuing to enhance the quality of academic experiences, becoming even more selective, supporting strong faculty and academic programs, enhancing a vibrant university community and providing a distinctive impact on the economic well-being of the state.

"This plan builds on the success of the strategic plan we just completed," said President Jo Ann M. Gora. "It rallies the university around the mutual goals of our students, the state and the university—student success, educational quality and advancing Indiana's needs."

Nearly two years in the making, the planning process included input sessions from faculty, staff, students, alumni, state policy makers and the community. The university community also had an opportunity to comment on the draft report, recommend supporting initiatives and provide suggestions on performance indicators.

"I appreciate the active participation of everyone who was part of the process," said Terry King, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who led the planning process. "The assessment, consideration and engaged—sometimes spirited—discussions that typified this process will determine our success. Our commitment to carefully considering how we can best serve our students, the state and society has produced a vision that will prove very powerful as we move into implementation." The plan can be found at

The board also approved a bachelor of science in early childhood education with a minor in early childhood special education. The new 2+2 degree program, proposed by King, will expand an existing agreement with Ivy Tech. It will allow students who have an associate degree in child development and are employed at Head Start to complete a degree online while continuing to work.

"This degree program serves the needs of working adults who have expressed a strong desire to complete their bachelor's degrees while actively working in their field. The online degree is an accessible format for working adults," said King. "Our Department of Elementary Education has success in delivering online courses, so Ball State is well-positioned to offer this program."

In other business, the board approved a revision of university policy regarding naming of university facilities and programs, a policy governing trustees' participation in board meetings by electronic communications and delegation of nonsubstantive amendments to the Staff Council Constitution to the president. The board also approved amendments  to the university's voluntary retirement plans: 457(b) deferred compensation plan, alternate pension plan and tax-deferred annuity plan. The amendments were necessary due to changes in federal regulations.

Howard also reviewed a new staff salary plan that would base 70 percent of salary increases on merit, an increase from 30 percent.

By Joan Todd, Executive Director of Public Relations