Plan to replace President Gora unclear

Ball State President Jo Ann Gora waves to the crowd during the Homecoming Parade on Oct. 12. Gora announced in an email she will retire in June, 2014. DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY
Ball State President Jo Ann Gora waves to the crowd during the Homecoming Parade on Oct. 12. Gora announced in an email she will retire in June, 2014. DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY

The process for finding a new university president is still unknown.

The Board of Trustees has not announced its plans for hiring a president following the announcement of Jo Ann Gora’s retirement in June 2014.

Hollis Hughes, board president, said he expects they will hire someone by July, according to a press release Saturday.

Kip Shawger, Faculty Council chairperson, said he hasn’t been contacted about faculty involvement in the search.

He said his best guess for the next step would be the trustees writing out a job description and then finding a combination of faculty, students, trustees or administrators to form the search committee.

The university used a private search when it was hiring in 2004. The decision to not even announce the finalists for the job, only to provide a candidate for the trustees to approve, was a departure from how the university conducted searches in the past.

Joe Bennett, Purdue’s vice president of university relations in 2004, said the private search allows confidentiality, which will attract better candidates.

“When you’re searching for the president of a major university, people are very high profile people,” Bennett said in 2004 to the Daily News. “Your best candidates are not going to want it known that they are considering the position.”

Joseph Losco, political science chairperson, criticized the search in 2004. He said the university didn’t keep faculty fully informed during the process, and he doesn’t hold much hope for this process.

“I expect them to keep the faculty in the dark once again,” Losco said. “It’s just the way this particular board operates.”

Losco was displeased by the process, but he said he liked the product. In 2004, he said Gora would probably have been chosen by an open process, as well.

“I think she’s an excellent choice,” he said in 2004 to the Daily News. “She comes very highly recommended by her faculty.”

Prior to being president at Ball State, Gora was the chancellor at the University at Massachusetts in Boston for three years.

She was praised by some of the UMB faculty and criticized by others. Some of her appointment choices were unpopular with the university.

The search in 2004 took five month, according to the Daily News in 2004, and involved trustees, faculty and students as well as Baker, Parker and Associates, a firm dedicated to finding executives.

Hughes and Chloe Anagnos, Student Government Association president, did not return phone messages to comment.

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