Paul Ferguson served as the 15th president of Ball State University. During his tenure, approval for the $63.5 million Health Professions Building was seen. However, Ferguson resigned just 18 months into his five year contract.
Paul Ferguson: Ball State's 15th president
Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
Promoting the concept of entrepreneurial learning was part of the goal of Ball State’s 15th president Paul Ferguson.
Ferguson led “The Centennial Commitment 18 by ’18,” which was part of the preparation for the university’s centennial year. This new commitment was focused on the beneficence pledge and promoting entrepreneurship.
One of the ways Ferguson did this was by promoting entrepreneurial learning across campus. During his tenure, student enrollment increased by 2.6 percent and four-year graduation rates were the highest for all Indiana public universities.
Additionally, approval for the $62.5 million Health Professions Building occurred under his leadership.
However, Jan. 25, 2016, Ferguson resigned from the university with no explanation after serving as president for 18 months. He still had three and a half years before his contract expired.
The Board of Trustees approved Ferguson’s request for a two-month sabbatical leave, after which, his term ended. They then appointed Provost Terry King as interim president.
“While the Board and Dr. Ferguson are disappointed that this relationship has ended, we wish Dr. Ferguson and his wife, Grace, well in their future endeavors,” said Board chair Rick Hall in a previous Daily News article.
During his two month sabbatical, Ferguson was paid two months of his annual $450,000 salary. That equates to nearly $75,000. Additionally, the university paid him for his unused vacation days, which totaled $21,635.
Ferguson later received a job at Biola University, a private Christian school in California, as founding dean of its school of science, technology and health.
“I have enjoyed working at each institution with the faculty to promote impactful shared governance that translates into effective strategic planning and communication between the campus, system leadership and governing boards,” Ferguson said in a Biola news release at the time of his hire.
"My wife, Grace, and I are led to close the chapter of our lives focused on public higher education. We are looking forward to building an integrated environment of faith and academics to educate young men and women to impact the world for Christ.”