Ball State University has approved the naming of two athletic facilities. The board of trustees has named a recreation and wellness center after outgoing president Jo Ann Gora and the school's football team complex after donors Ronald and Joan Venderly. Trustees also approved a merit-based salary bump for faculty and employees for the 2014-2015 academic year. May 5, 2014

News Release

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State Board of Trustees today named a new football complex after Ronald and Joan Venderly in recognition of their generosity over more than two decades.

The Ronald E. and Joan M. Venderly Football Team Complex will adjoin the west side of the John W. and Janice B. Fisher Football Training Complex. It will provide dedicated meeting space for the entire team and will house offices for coaches and support staff. The new facility will also allow for the repurposing of existing space to better serve student-athletes. The complex is part of the university's $20 million Cardinal Commitment campaign, which will fund strategic improvements for softball, baseball, men's and women's golf, football, men’s and women's basketball, and men's and women's volleyball.

“We are deeply grateful to the Venderlys for their support,” said Bill Scholl, director of intercollegiate athletics. “This new facility will give our student-athletes another competitive advantage on the field. It's also a sign of an even brighter future. The most competitive recruits take notice of these facilities, and it affects their decisions. The complex will bring us closer to being on par with facilities in the MAC. Having this new space available will provide another competitive advantage for our student-athletes.”

The Venderlys have demonstrated extraordinary generosity and deep commitment to furthering higher education, the arts, cultural opportunities, youth programs and athletics in their home community and across Indiana. They established the Ronald E. and Joan M. Venderly Scholarship Endowment funding scholarships for more than 30 Ball State students from Fort Wayne and Allen County. Most recently, the Venderlys have taken a leadership role in the Cardinal Commitment campaign. They are leadership benefactors, and Mr. Venderly, a 1964 Ball State graduate, provides his time and talent on the campaign committee.

“The lives of students are changed by the extraordinary generosity of the Venderlys,” said President Jo Ann M. Gora. “Ron and Joan take the long view with their philanthropy. They have invested significantly over decades, and their impact will be felt for decades to come. We are truly grateful.”

The trustees also approved a 3 percent increase in funding for student organizations, and a one-time allocation of $200,000 in additional funding for special events from the Student Activities Fee. Randy Howard, vice president for business affairs, said a similar special allocation last year enabled the Division of Student Affairs to offer expanded opportunities that were enthusiastically embraced by students. Activities funded through the Student Services Fee include student organizations, lectures, concerts, cultural programs, intercollegiate athletics, and renewal and replacement of non-state funded facilities.

Also today, the board approved the guidelines for the 2014-15 General Fund Budget Plan. Final budgets will be presented at the next board meeting.

In the budget passed in April 2013, the state provided a $6.9 million increase in state operating appropriations for the 2013-15 biennial budget over the previous biennium. “We are very grateful to the state for these new funds and the vote of confidence in the direction of the university they represent,” said Gora. “They have been absolutely critical in the face of unrelenting pressures on our budget.” The university continues to absorb an $11.84 million reduction in 2011-13 state funding for operations, on top of a $15.25 million reduction in the 2009-11 biennium.

Ball State has reduced expenses and reallocated about $15 million toward strategic plan initiatives over several years. Today’s approved budget plan continues funding for strategic plan commitments while accounting for additional revenue and expenses in the strategic areas of international, graduate and online student enrollment.

The plan also provides for a 4 percent increase in funding for university scholarship programs, following successive 9 and 12 percent increases in financial aid funding for each of the last two years. The new funds will help financial aid keep pace with tuition increases while enhancing resources for strategic recruiting initiatives for high-ability students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) majors and the Honors College, as well as transfer students.

In 2014-15, the university will fund a salary increase of 3 percent for faculty and professional employees, based largely on merit. “Despite our budget constraints, we remain committed to doing all we can to bring faculty salaries in alignment with our peers,” said Gora. A 2.75 percent increase in funding for staff salaries was also approved. In addition, the budget for student employees was increased by 2 percent to allow for the hiring of more students.

Board members also thanked and recognized their colleague, Barbara Phillips, who retired as a trustee in 2013 after serving since 2006. She served as assistant secretary for three of those years.

According to the trustees, Ball State University owes a great debt of gratitude to Phillips for her decades of dedication and commitment to making her alma mater the attractive, intellectually challenging and vibrant institution that it is today.

Phillips has influenced thousands of young lives over 37 years at Wilson Middle School in Muncie, first as a teacher and then as a principal, before becoming the chief learning officer at Gaylor Group. She has also demonstrated leadership in numerous professional organizations such as the Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana, the National Center for Construction Education and Research, and the American Council for Construction Education.

Phillips earned her bachelor's degree in education from the university in 1952 and her graduate degree in 1963. She is a longtime and generous donor to the university.

Source: Ball State University

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