The Ball State Board of Trustees met Wednesday for its biannual meeting to vote on members of the slate and specific chairs. 

After a proposal from vice chair Renae Conley, the board voted unanimously to keep Rick Hall as the chair even though he has already served the allowed two consecutive two-year terms.

“I’m enthusiastic to continue to serve as the chair of this board and I’m also excited about it because we have great opportunities before us,” Hall said. “I think there’s great things ahead for Ball State University, and I am honored and pleased to continue in my leadership for all those reasons.”

Originally, the chair of the board was permitted to serve a two-year term. However, some members of the board spoke about the necessity of a three-year term. 

“Providing more flexibility of extending the term of the chair to the third term, when appropriate, I think is an important modification to our bylaws,” said secretary Thomas Bracken. “Rick Hall, who has done such an exceptional job over the years, throughout such major changes, and there’s still exciting changes to come. So I think Rick is really the perfect person to help see us through that. So, I’m in full support.” 

Board member, Mike McDaniel, said after seeing Hall work with the university, a third year would be appropriate.

“I think with all the mayor things ahead of us in the next year-and-a-half, I think its only smart to keep that continuity because its working so seamlessly right now. I think its smart to do it the way we’re talking about doing it because you guys work together so beautifully,” McDaniel said. “It even exceeded expectations — how well it’s gone. And believe me I was a early nay-sayer before I came on this board.”

The board also unanimously voted to keep the slate and specific chairs the same for the next term, which means that the following will keep their current positions:

  • Rick Hall, chair
  • Renae Conley, vice chair, chair of the finance committee 
  • Thomas Bracken, secretary
  • Matt Momper, assistant secretary, chair of audit and compliance committee 
  • Wayne Estopinal, member, chair of academic/student affairs committee
  • Brian Gallagher, member
  • Jean Ann Harcourt, member
  • Mike McDaniel, member

President Geoffrey S. Mearns was announced as the 17th president nearly a year ago on Jan. 24, 2017, and at the meeting, Mearns said he was excited about the nearly eight months he has already served and is looking forward to the many more to come.  

"Now today, seven months and some odd days later, I continue to feel that sense of optimism and enthusiasm, that passion for our mission,” Mearns said. "I think in a relatively short period of time we have developed a collaborative, constructive partnership between me and my colleagues who serve with me on the leadership team."

The next board meeting will be March 30. 

Contact Brynn Mechem with comments at or on Twitter at @BrynnMechem. Contact Mary Freda with comments at or on Twitter at @Mary_Freda1.