Ball State President to Retire

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The president of Ball State University will hold a news conference this afternoon to further detail her plan to retire in June. Jo Ann Gora notified the university's board of trustees of her decision Friday. She has served as Ball State's president since 2004. The Star Press in Muncie was the first media outlet to report the story. Ball State has since distributed a news release.

October 27, 2013

News Release

MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State University President Jo Ann M. Gora and Hollis Hughes, Board of Trustees president, will conduct a media briefing at 1 p.m. Monday to discuss her impending retirement.

Source: Ball State University

October 26, 2013

News Release

MUNCIE, Ind. - President Jo Ann Gora informed the Board of Trustees yesterday that she will retire from her position as president of Ball State University at the end of June, 2014.

"This year will be my tenth as president at Ball State but my fortieth in higher education," Gora said. "It has been a rewarding and fulfilling career, especially these years in Indiana."

Board president Hollis Hughes expressed the trustees' deep gratitude for Gora's leadership of the university over the past decade. "Jo Ann Gora has taken Ball State to new levels of excellence and recognition during her presidency. There is no good time to say goodbye to such a leader, but the university is well positioned to continue to press forward in the course she has helped us set."

Gora arrived as the fourteenth president of Ball State in 2004, becoming the first woman to serve as president of a public university in Indiana. She had previously been chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, Boston and as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Old Dominion University. During her tenure at Ball State she oversaw two long-range strategic planning processes. In this time the university raised more philanthropic funds than in the history of the institution. More than $520 million of facilities construction and renovation was completed or undertaken during her presidency, dramatically transforming the campus. The innovative geothermal project, the nation's largest ground-source, closed-loop district geothermal energy system, will reduce the university's carbon footprint by nearly half and have a lasting impact on both the environment and campus' culture. At the same time, admissions standards were raised significantly, and numerous academic programs achieved national rankings and recognition.

"What sets Ball State apart," said Gora, "is the level of collaboration and commitment of our faculty, staff, and students. We truly have redefined higher education through our focus on immersive learning, an approach to education that clearly puts our students at the center. I will miss working with such dedicated and creative faculty and staff and interacting with so many hardworking and talented students."

Board president Hughes indicated that the trustees have begun discussions about the search to identify Gora’s successor. "Dr. Gora has taken Ball State far and leaves the university headed in the right direction. We are confident that the position will attract a strong group of candidates and that the next president will provide continuity by building on that momentum. We hope to have our next leader in place by July of next year."

Source: Ball State University

Jo Ann Gora Bio From the Ball State University website

Jo Ann M. Gora has served as Ball State University's 14th president since 2004. She quickly demonstrated her commitment to putting students first by declining an inauguration and instead establishing a scholarship fund for 25 high-achieving students. She led the development of the university's Education Redefined strategic plan, which was implemented from 2007 to 2012. The cornerstone of that plan is making immersive learning opportunities available to every student.

In the last six years, more than 20,800 students completed more than 1,250 immersive learning impacting citizens in every Indiana county under the mentoring of faculty from every university academic department. Gora has increased Ball State's commitment to emerging media, campus diversity, and developing nationally ranked academic programs. The strategic plan was the basis for the university's successful capital campaign, Ball State Bold: Investing in the Future, which topped its $200 million goal by more than $10 million. The university celebrated its conclusion by introducing 55 Bold Celebration Scholars in March 2011 at the Indiana Statehouse, repeating the successful model of the scholarships awarded at the beginning of her presidency.

The success of that plan led to Gora's leadership in the development of Ball State's new strategic plan, Education Redefined 2.0: Advancing Indiana, passed by the University's Board of Trustees in December 2012. It continues Ball State's emphasis on student success with an even sharper focus on its distinctiveness, and it guides the university through 2017, to the cusp of its centennial. In April 2013, she announced the launch of a new capital campaign, Cardinal Commitment: Developing Champions, which will raise $20 million by the end of 2014 for upgrading and renovating athletic facilities.

Gora was one of the 12 charter signatories to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2006. In May 2009, Gora and other officials broke ground on the largest geothermal district energy system in the United States, and Phase One, which allowed Ball State to shut down two coal-fired boilers, was dedicated in March 2012. When Phase Two is finished in 2015, the system will heat and cool more than 45 buildings on Ball State's campus, saving the university $2 million a year while reducing its carbon footprint by nearly half. For its sustainability commitment, the university has been ranked for four straight years in The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges, and has earned a Second Nature Climate Leadership Award. In 2010, Ball State was named the Technology Innovator of the Year by the Hoosier Environmental Council.

In May 2009, Gora received the Mira Trailblazer Award from TechPoint for her significant and lasting contributions to technology innovation in Indiana. In late 2008, Ball State announced its Emerging Media Initiative, which funds more research in emerging media, assists Ball State faculty and students in launching new businesses, and helps companies, especially those in Indiana, to improve their emerging media capabilities.

Fifty-four Ball State programs have been nationally recognized since 2007, including accounting, architecture, the online master's program in business administration, educational leadership, graduate programs in education, insurance and risk management, landscape architecture, music, nursing, sales, and the master's program in urban and regional planning. Leading the way in national recognition is undergraduate entrepreneurial management program, which has been ranked in the U.S. News & World Report top 15 every year since 1999.

Since Gora's arrival, more than $520 million of completed or current construction and renovation has changed the face of Ball State’s campus. Notable new buildings include the David Letterman Communication and Media Building, the Music Instruction Building, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Kinghorn Residence Hall, Park Residence Hall, and the Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass.

President Gora began serving a four-year term on the American Council on Education's Board of Directors in 2011. She is a member of the Association of Governing Boards' Council of Presidents and is on the advisory committee of the Association’s executive search arm. She was a charter member of The New York Times/Chronicle of Higher Education higher education cabinet. She is immediate past chai