The Ball State Board of Trustees has extended the contract of President Geoffrey Mearns through 2027 and elected new officers. Renae Conley will serve as chair, succeeding Trustee Rick Hall.
Conley has served as vice chair since 2016. Matt Momper will serve as vice chair with Mike McDaniel as secretary and Brian Gallagher as assistant secretary. Each member will serve a two-year term.
The board of trustees limits the service of its chair to four years, however Hall served an additional two-year term in 2018 to help transition President Mearns, who arrived on campus in 2017. Hall will continue to serve as a member of the board of trustees.
Chair Conley most recently served as executive vice president of human resources and administration for Entergy Corp. as well as the company’s chief diversity officer. She also spent 10 years as president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana.
The board unanimously extended the contract of President Mearns.
In a letter to students and alumni, Hall stated the following:
“I am excited to share with you that, earlier today, the Ball State University Board of Trustees unanimously approved extending the contract for President Geoffrey S. Mearns. Ball State has never been stronger, and securing President Mearns’ leadership ensures that our positive momentum will continue for years to come.
Ball State has built a reputation for excellence in both education and scholarship. In so doing, it has evolved from a teachers college to a world-class university.
Such success has been the product of the efforts of a talented and dedicated faculty and administration, fueled by generous donors and a supportive State government. The University’s student-centered focus and fiscal responsibility have been fully embraced by the people of Indiana and beyond, as evidenced by our record enrollment.
Continued success requires leadership that is not only effective, but also is sustained. Since his arrival at Ball State in 2017, President Mearns has demonstrated the exemplary leadership and vision that will propel us to our next level of success. We are pleased that the new contract provides for his service in this important role until 2027.
President Mearns, along with the leadership team that he has assembled, is engaged in the implementation of an ambitious strategic plan, Destination 2040:
Our Flight Path, which establishes dynamic goals to guide Ball State into its second century. Completion of the plan will require the creativity and courage to pursue innovative ideas. Under his leadership, Ball State was the first four-year public university in Indiana to step forward with a test-optional admissions policy that allows us to attract and enroll the students that are best prepared to earn a degree.
President Mearns also spearheaded the University’s involvement in the Muncie Community Schools, a one-of-kind collaboration that is receiving national attention. With his guidance, Ball State has demonstrated how an institution can make a difference by leaning into challenges and developing collaborative community solutions, while simultaneously providing additional educational opportunities for our students.
Along the way, he has proudly conveyed Ball State’s excellence to others. Last year alone, President Mearns, working with a team of others, championed over $30 million in philanthropic support for Ball State, the largest annual amount raised in over a decade. Those efforts resulted in the funding of the Scheumann Family Indoor Practice Facility and the record-breaking success of the first One Ball State Day.
These are just a few of President Mearns’ recent achievements. As Ball State continues its upward trajectory, the Board looks forward to working with him, and all in the Ball State community, to create a bright future for our graduates and the State of Indiana.”