Ball State University trustees have approved the formation of a new College of Health. The university says it will create "a more cohesive unit that would take advantage of Ball State’s current health-related assets." Trustees also gave the go-ahead to a $5 million expansion and renovation of the John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium.
Ball State’s market studies suggest growth rates of nearly 25 percent in Indiana health occupations. Officials note the school already has a number of programs that feed high-growth areas including nurse practitioners, athletic trainers, speech-language pathologists and psychologists.
In a press release from the university, College of Applied Sciences and Technology Dean Mitch Whaley says the new academic unit would focus on:
- Vision: "Our students will embrace critical thinking, creative problem solving, and lifelong learning. Graduates will become engaged citizens in a diverse world, and be attentive to the health and social justice of a diverse population. Premier educational programs, cutting-edge scholarship, and clinical professional preparation will emphasize health and well-being across the lifespan."
- Mission: "Our college embraces an innovative, collaborative, and interprofessional environment for learning, discovery, and engagement. The learning environment is shaped by core content that enhances understanding of health and well-being throughout the life span. Discovery occurs across the health-related disciplines that comprise the college and readily engages students and faculty in a collaborative manner. Our commitment to interprofessional development and community engagement unites our faculty and students while strengthening our educational programs and serving the needs of the region, state, and nation."
The Emens project will add 12,000 square-feet to the 1960s-era center. Most of the funding will come from strategic reserves, while $1.5 million will be from a campaign led by well-known contributor Charles Sursa. Construction could begin next summer and be complete in around a year.
Trustees also approved an "expression of interest" by the school’s public television state to voluntarily take part in a Federal Communications Commission auction involving some of its bandwidth on the communications spectrum to mobile communications providers. The sale could be a windfall for the station and university.