Ball State’s Building Better Communities recently created and filled a new position, director of economic development policy, in Indianapolis and is looking to add another in Fort Wayne.
Primary of Place Initiative is one of five different sections of the BBC and focuses on using university resources for the “improvement of life experiences for residents, businesses and visitors.”
In his new position, David Terrell, the former adviser for the Indiana lieutenant governor, will be helping encourage economic development at Ball State’s Indianapolis Center.
He will serve as a portal through which individuals and local businesses can access university resources. Those support resources could include everything from research to training.
“For the first time now we are actually putting an individual, a university employee, in a region with some responsibility to a region,” said John Fallon, associate vice president of economic development and community engagement.
The university has been considering the positions for a few months. It aligns with the new goal added in Ball State’s 2012-2017 strategic plan, advancing Indiana.
Beyond using immersive learning for educating students, the initiative looks to better serve the state by helping advance communities and businesses.
“The university relies on the state for a significant amount of its operational support, so that support is only as good as the state’s ability to continue to pay for it,” Fallon said. “We think that it makes sense to do everything we can to support the very systems and structures that support the university.”
Terrell was by far the most qualified candidate, Fallon said, in both experience and education.
For the past eight years Terrell has been working in economic development at a state level with a program aimed at improving the quality of life in Indiana through economic development.
“I’m at a point in my career where it makes sense for me to go this direction,” Terrell said in a statement. “This is my last frontier: I’ve worked in government, I’ve worked in the private sector, but I haven’t worked in academia. It’s an exciting opportunity.”
Fallon is currently searching for candidates to fill the same position in Fort Wayne, another highly populated area of Indiana. He hopes to have the hiring process completed by August.
Both position’s salary will come out of the university’s general budget.
“We have the opportunity to do something truly remarkable here, and I am pleased that BBC is the unit on campus that is given this responsibility,” Fallon said. “We are determined to do something special with these roles.”