Board of trustees takes weekend to talk change

Members catch up on current university funding issues.

Members of Ball State's Board of Trustees were given a three-day update of the university's academic climate and enrollment situation amid an annual board retreat last weekend.

The trustees took no formal action on any items discussed. Instead, said Board President Thomas DeWeese, the days were used to keep the trustees current on Ball State's affairs.

"I would think that the information we got this weekend sort of brings us up to date as far as where we are," he said.

DeWeese said the board met for a few hours last Friday, all day Saturday and about an hour Sunday morning in the town of Porter, about 170 miles from Muncie, near Gary.

Members from President Brownell's senior staff were present. Beverley Pitts, the provost and vice president for academic affairs, discussed a range of academic issues, including the proposed core curriculum changes.

Thomas Kinghorn, the vice president for business affairs, discussed future building projects, including potential renovations to the football stadium - renovations, DeWeese said, that must be funded by private sources.

"I don't think anybody has an idea where to pay for that," DeWeese said.

Doug McConkey, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, and H. O'Neal Smitherman, the vice president of information technology, also gave reports.

"I think it was informative," Smitherman said. "I think it was positive and went well."

Senior and Trustee Melanie Scott said the retreat was interesting. Trustee Greg Schenkel could not be reached, and Trustee Jeff Smulyan was out of town.

Trustee Hollis Hughes said he would not comment until after DeWeese was contacted. Hughes was not available, however, after DeWeese was contacted.

Missing among the vice presidents, however, were faculty members, but Smitherman said faculty were able to come to the meeting if they chose to.

"It was an open meeting, and an announcement was made in the press," he said.

Also, Marilyn Buck, coordinator of the sport and physical education programs and chair of the University Senate, said she understands why the board would need a retreat to discuss such matters.

"It usually gives the group time to learn some in-depth issues," Buck said.

As chairwoman of the Senate, Buck represents the entity to the Board of Trustees whenever an issue arises in university governance.


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