Apart from university-related updates, an alumnus guest speaker of NFL fame were the two highlights at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting held March 29 at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center ballroom.
Here is a summary of some important information that was discussed at the meeting:
The president’s report:
President Geoffrey Mearns in his report updated the previous figures he shared regarding the number of applicants for the fall 2019 semester. 26,800 high school students have applied, a 14 percent increase over last year’s applicants with 31 percent of them applying as test-optional.
Mearns also spoke about Mitchell Elementary School, a property Ball State purchased from Muncie Community Schools in 2017, which will become the Mitchell Early Childhood and Family Center.
President Geoffrey Means, at Friday's Board of Trustees meeting, highlighted the following events coming up:
April 9 — One Ball State Day
For 24 hours, this fundraising event will see Cardinals from across the country making gifts to academic areas, student organizations and funds that matter most to them.
April 13 — Day of Beneficence
Ball State will invite alumni to participate in this day of service, through local service projects across the country and in Muncie.
June 14 — Ball State Centennial closing event
To mark the final celebration of Ball State's 100th anniversary the university will close at 1 p.m. to invite the campus community and their families for food and games.
The facility will provide “innovative early childcare programming” in partnership with Ball State’s Child Study Center and YMCA of Muncie’s Apple Tree Child Development Center, he said.
“The Mitchell Center is the latest example of our university’s expanded efforts to build strong relationships with the community,” Mearns said. “We are proud to support partnerships that seek to improve educational opportunities for young children to reach their developmental potential.”
Apart from the two new deans for Miller College of Business and College of Fine Arts, Mearns also spoke about the new hire for Ball State’s associate vice president for inclusive excellence.
Marsha McGriff, currently a director in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs at Indiana University, begins in her new role May 1.
“Her knowledge and experience will be invaluable as she leads our new President’s Advisory Council on Inclusive Excellence,” Mearns said.
The president also spoke about One Ball State Day, the 24-hour fundraising event being held April 9. As of Tuesday, Mearns said, the event has received $53,000 in challenge pledges from university’s leaders and more than 95 departments, units and student organizations are taking part in the event.
“Your generosity will inspire others to give,” he said.
Other events he mentioned include Ball State’s Day of Beneficence, an alumni day of service to be held April 13 and a Ball State Centennial closing event to be held June 14.
Construction updates and Aviso:
Jim Lowe, associate vice president for facilities planning and management, spoke about the construction of one of the north residence halls which is projected to be completed in 2020 and the construction of the Emens parking garage replacement on New York Avenue, which has already begun construction and will offer about 600 parking spaces.
It was also revealed that Ball State will be using an artificial intelligence system called Aviso to help faculty keep an eye out for at-risk students.
Aviso is a web-based software that will allow faculty to monitor and reach out to potentially at risk students, based on data collected from multiple sources, said Ro Anne Royer Engle, interim vice president for student affairs.
A presentation slide during the meeting said the system will be tested in June and July and then implemented in August.
Baltimore Ravens player visits Ball State
Also present at the Board of Trustees building as a guest speaker was Willie Snead IV, wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens and Ball State alumnus.
“It feels really good. It feels like home,” Snead said. “I just love to see the growth that's happening here and the young guys that are eager to make a difference.”
He said he missed the college experience at Ball State which he said is taken for granted until one looks back and thinks, “man, that was fun.”
Snead said it was funny how people in Baltimore recognize Ball State.
“You say Ball State, they say, ‘OK, Indiana right?’” he said.
It's awesome to put Ball State on the map let people know about the people, programs and the school that are “doing good things over here,” Snead said.
“Keep doing your thing and just chirp chirp, keep flying, because as long as you keep soaring you can always achieve anything," he said.
Sara Barker, Andrew Harp and Jacob Musselman contributed to this story.
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