Topic: Administrative

August 31, 2015

President Paul W. Ferguson announced the awarding of 16 Academic Excellence Grants representing approximately $4.2 million in funding for new initiatives in The Centennial Commitment (18 by ’18).

This competitive internal Academic Excellence Grants (AEG) Program provides one-time funding over three years to support and encourage departments and units to define and achieve their academic, research and service goals that will contribute to Ball State’s overall aspiration to be a model of the most student-centered and community-engaged of the 21st century public research universities.

This program, first announced at the president’s State of the University address in February 2015, generated high interest and participation as 105 pre-proposals were submitted in late May from across the Ball State community. After a first review/feedback by the Strategic Planning Leadership Team, 76 full proposals were received during the summer. Proposals were reviewed by members of the Strategic Planning Leadership Team, and a final list of proposals recommended for funding was finalized with Provost Terry King and President Ferguson. Funding for the proposals comes from several academic-oriented private funds in the Ball State University Foundation.

Proposals selected for funding exhibited one or more of the following qualities: (1) Provided increased opportunities and strategies for productive scholarship by faculty and graduate students to enhance graduate education, creative activity, research and extramural funding to ultimately enhance the stature of the department, college and university, (2) defined new avenues for entrepreneurial and immersive learning at Ball State, (3) improved or designed new academic programs unique to Ball State’s signature and emerging academic strengths, (4) enhanced service agendas or expanded community engagement with key community partners to demonstrably improve quality of life and primacy of place, (5) improved student recruitment, retention and graduation, (6) created new co-curricular programs that enhance the student experience at Ball State and (7) established new and sustainable business models or practices for improved and cost-effective delivery of academic programs, faculty, staff and student services or university administrative processes.

Organized by major focus, the AEG recipients are:

21st Century Public Research University Proposals

  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management Center for Excellence. Bradley Anderson, Information Systems and Operations Management (Miller College of Business). $299,378.
  • Center for Advancement of Digital Marketing and Analytics (CADMA) with Social Media Lab and Social Media Lab Digital Command Center. Susan Mantel, Marketing (MCOB). $299,823.
  • Exercise Genomics Research: Skeletal Muscle Health and Aging. Scott Trappe, Human Performance Laboratory (College of Applied Sciences and Technology/College of Health). $297,319
  • Entrepreneurial Theatre for the 21st Century. William Jenkins, Theatre and Dance (College of Fine Arts). $280,635.
  • Entrepreneurial Learning Across Developmental Levels. Lisa Rubenstein, Miki Hamstra, Educational Psychology and Center for Gifted Studies and Talent Development (Teachers College). $300,000.
  • Entrepreneurial Learning Pedagogies. Jennifer Blackmer, Academic Affairs. $300,000.
  • Enhancement of Sports Link. Chris Taylor, Alex Kartman, Tim Pollard, Roger Lavery (College of Communication, Information, and Media). $200,000.

Student-Centered Proposals

  • Center for Student Driven Change. Stuart Sipahigil. Information Technology Services. $147,237.
  • Professional Advising Center. Robert Kvam, et al. (CFA). $299,987.
  • Social Science Advising Center. Melinda Messineo, et al. Sociology (College of Sciences and Humanities). $299,133.
  • Initiative for Disability Employment. Larry Markle, Disability Services/Student Affairs. $297,678.

Community-Engaged Proposals

  • A Student-Run Healthcare Clinic: A Novel Model for Entrepreneurial and Experiential Education in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology. Blair Mattern, Speech Pathology and Audiology (CSH/CoH). $246,655.
  • Alliance for Community-Engaged Teacher Education. Eva Zygmunt, Susan Tancock and Pat Clark, Elementary Education (TC). $300,000.
  • Access to Justice Clinic. Brad Gideon, Legal Studies/Political Science (CSH). $38,137.
  • Ball State and Community Makers Hub. Pam Harwood, Janice Shimizu, Andrea Swartz (College of Architecture and Planning). $300,000.
  • Urban Food Hub. Joshua Gruver, Natural Resources and Environmental Management (CSH). $294,042.

“The Strategic Planning Leadership Team and I were very pleased with the number and quality of the campus response to the call for AEG proposals. Of course, the challenge of selecting only 16 out of 76 very good proposals was difficult,” commented President Ferguson. “I am very happy with the first round of funded proposals that represent the breadth of the campus and offer innovative and entrepreneurial projects.

“I am especially grateful for the remarkable partnership with the BSU Foundation and assistance from President/CEO Cherí O’Neill, who worked diligently with Provost King to provide additional dollars to fund more projects than originally expected. We look forward to observing and measuring the impact of these grants on our campus and community.”

Provost King affirmed the comments of President Ferguson, suggesting that “the value of this grant program is realized in that many of the very good unfunded proposals will be kept to be considered by the Strategic Planning Leadership Team and me for future support as funding becomes available.” Provost King also indicated that he will be working with several of the projects, for example, student advising, to integrate these initiatives with current universitywide programs to elevate student retention efforts.

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Read an executive summary of each project funded by the Academic Excellence Grants program, and learn more about The Centennial Commitment (18 by '18).
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