Topic: Administrative

July 20, 2016

Entrepreneurship and innovation, coupled with community engagement, are at the heart of what Ball State University faculty, staff and students have embraced for years, and now that philosophy is garnering support from the state’s top leaders.

Gov. Mike Pence recently announced a $1 billion investment to boost and bolster statewide development of innovation and entrepreneurship — areas that Ball State students have been involved with through immersive learning courses and other hands-on engagement via the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, and the Entrepreneurship Center.

“A culture of creative problem-solving, innovation, nurtured risk, intense experiential educational activities in the form of immersive learning, and community engagement have been at the core of Ball State for many years,” said Terry King, interim university president. “Entrepreneurship is not only a way of conducting business, it is directly applicable to every discipline, because it provides the skills and knowledge to be successful in life. Our students and faculty across the university have embraced entrepreneurial learning.”

“Students come into college knowing they have a desire or drive, and a lot of their time with us is spent figuring out what that looks like,” said Jen Blackmer, associate provost for entrepreneurial learning at Ball State. “Higher education is at a crossroads, and entrepreneurial learning is a great response to that by empowering faculty to take on high-impact, student-driven projects that can redefine not only teaching and learning but help to shape entire communities.”

Mike Goldsby, Ball State’s chief entrepreneurship officer, said the planned investment by the state underscores the importance of the work the university is doing — and not simply in the area of business and economic development, but across all colleges.

“The best entrepreneurs are artistic, in the sense they come up with great visions. Mixing traditional business approaches with creative, artistic approaches is what this economy and Indiana need.”