Mearns: Ball State 'Uniquely Situated' to Help Muncie Schools

Posted: Updated:
Muncie Central High School is the only high school in the school district. Muncie Central High School is the only high school in the school district.

A bill that would turn over management authority of Muncie Community Schools to Ball State University will have to wait until next week for its next opportunity to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee. House Bill 1315, which has already been approved by the Indiana House and must receive a full Senate vote by March 6, would establish a seven-member board to govern MCS. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, BSU President Geoffrey Mearns called the university "uniquely situated" to help the struggling school district. Mearns adds he has received a "very strong response" from the Muncie and Delaware County business community.

"(Employers have) recognized that they've had challenges," he said "to attract talent to their companies and they see this as a great opportunity to talk to those employees, those prospective candidates and tell them about the good things that are happening in Muncie. This is an opportunity to change that narrative." He expects Ball State and business leaders to become more engaged in related efforts like economic development and community revitalization, which Mearns says will go "hand-in-hand" with boosting the school system and the city as a whole.

MCS has faced challenges for years on several fronts, including declining enrollment. In December, the state's Distressed Unit Appeal Board agreed to take over financial and academic functions of the district.

If the bill receives state approval, the Ball State Board of Trustees would have to sign-off on it before it could be put into motion by as early as July 1. The proposed legislation would set up a new scenario in Indiana: a university overseeing an entire local school district. Mearns says provisions in the bill call for a two-year period to develop the plan that would create "a community solution" through input from local stakeholders.

  • Perspectives

    • Employers Are Key to Improving Healthcare

      It's no longer news that American healthcare is broken. In the U.S., we spend more than $3 trillion a year on healthcare - more than any other developed nation - yet we are in overall poorer health than similarly developed countries. But dealing with healthcare's myriad issues isn't the only challenge facing business owners and employers. They're also grappling with how to attract and retain a shrinking supply of employees.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Angie's List Campus Re-Imagined as Creative 'Playground'

      A group of investors, many with previous ties Angie's List, has closed on the acquisition of the company's former corporate campus. The backers that make up the Fred Abel LLC investment group are led by former Angie's List Chief Executive Officer Bill Oesterle and include participants in Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York and Ohio. Boston-based Aquent CEO John Chuang is an investor and says the vision is to "create something far more than office space."

    • (Image courtesy of Indiana Grown)

      Eskenazi, Indiana Grown to Outline Partnership

      Eskenazi Health and Indiana Grown will Monday detail a new partnership at Sidney & Louis Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis. The organizations are also hosting a "food networking event" allowing Indiana Grown members to connect with each other and local business owners. Eskenazi Health CEO Dr. Lisa Harris will discuss the partnership this weekend on Inside INdiana Business With Gerry Dick. Indiana Grown, which helps consumers find products grown, raised, produced...

    • $2.5B Coal-to-Diesel Plant Proposed in Dale

      An energy company is proposing a $2.5 billion coal-to-diesel facility in Spencer County. Riverview Energy Corp., which is based in Delaware and has a presence in New York, says the operation would eventually produce 4.8 million barrels of diesel fuel and 2.5 million barrels of naphtha, a liquid used as a solvent, a fuel and in plastics. President Gregory Merle says the facility would be the only one of its kind in the U.S. and is the company's most ambitious project yet.

    • AgriPark, New Jobs in Fishers Future

      The city of Fishers will partner with Brandywine Creek Farms to launch a 30-acre development focused on urban farming. During his State of the City address, Mayor Scott Fadness detailed plans for Fishers AgriPark, which will include crop fields, livestock, aquaponics, beehives and educational space. In today's address, Fadness also said to expect economic development announcements in the coming weeks involving $150 million in capital investment and hundreds of new jobs.

    • On-Air

      Find out when and where you can watch and listen to our reports.