Ball State University's Board of Trustees has approved a more than $40 million renovation project for a 1960s-era dorm. The improvements to Schmidt/Wilson Residence Halls are expected to be complete in 2017. The board also approved a revised strategic plan from President Paul Ferguson that will carry through to the school's centennial celebration in 2018.

February 6, 2015

News Release

Muncie, Ind. — The Board of Trustees Friday unanimously endorsed President Paul W. Ferguson’s vision for the future of Ball State University as a model of the most student-centered, and community-engaged, 21st century public research institution.

The revised strategic plan, The Centennial Commitment (18 by ’18), is an efficient guideline to the university’s Centennial Celebration in 2018 that honors the diligent work of the campus in defining the current strategic plan, but sets an innovative new strategy for enhanced progress. The Centennial Commitment will be implemented by a newly formed Strategic Planning Leadership Team with Ferguson as its chair.

“President Ferguson has embraced the concept of entrepreneurial learning and its relevance to higher education in the 21st century,” said board Chair Rick Hall. “It is a perfect fit for Ball State not only in current programs and practices such as learning projects engaging students in the community, but also in new administrative practices that consolidate units to improve efficiencies and service to our constituencies.”

Hall noted that Ferguson has initiated several administrative changes to enhance operations and service in the areas of Sponsored Programs, Advancement, Government Relations and Community Engagement, Enrollment Management, and Marketing and Communications.

Additionally, Ferguson’s plan encompasses several major new initiatives to enhance professional development for faculty and staff, to enable them to contribute to the new vision and strategic plan including the Academic Excellence Grants Program, enhanced Faculty Development/Travel Grants, the Ball State Centennial Student Scholarship Program, the Capital Funds Enhancement Program, and a commitment to faculty and staff salary assessment.

Also Friday, the board approved the renovation of the Schmidt/Wilson Residence Halls (Johnson B) as part of a routine, long-term plan to renovate and upgrade university housing. This renovation follows the completion of Botsford/Swinford (Johnson A), which included extensive modernization of the 1960s-era building. Estimated cost of the project, which will begin this summer and is slated for fall 2017 completion, is $40.1 million.

In other business, the board approved renaming the Center for Construction Management in the Applied Technology building. It will be known as the Robert G. Hunt Center for Construction Management, in honor of Ball State supporters Diane and Bob Hunt. The board also voted to rename the property management center the Weidner Center for Residential Property Management, honoring W. Dean Weidner and Weidner Property Management.

Finally, the board learned that the university would save nearly $650,000 in interest by refinancing a parking garage construction bond.

Source: Ball State University

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