Since becoming president of Ball State in May 2004, Jo Ann Gora has won multiple awards and has been involved in five large projects, including two strategic plans and two capital campaigns.
According to the university, during her 10 years as president, campus has seen $520 million of construction and renovations, some of which are ongoing.
Education Redefined Strategic Plan
In 2007 Gora launched the first strategic plan, Education Redefined. It lasted from 2007 to 2012 and focused on immersive learning.
The initiative became the “hallmark” of a Ball State education.
During that time period, about 16,400 students from all seven university colleges partnered with community members for immersive learning projects.
The university used the new plan as the basis for its capital campaign, which raised about $210 million.
Ball State Bold: Investing in the Future campaign
Following the Education Redefined Strategic Plan, the university set a $200 million fundraising goal.
It exceeded the goal by $10 million.
The money went toward funding campus improvements, such as scholarships, the creation of new immersive learning opportunities and campus renovations.
Afterward, the university introduced 55 Bold Celebration Scholars in March 2011 at the Indiana Statehouse.
Education Redefined 2.0: Advancing Indiana (2012-2017)
The Board of Trustees passed the second part of Education Redefined in December 2012.
The plan, which will run through 2017, focuses on making the university an asset and resource for the state, partially through immersive learning.
Gora received criticism since Ball State lost some state funding compared to schools like Indiana and Purdue universities. The state used a performance-based funding formula, which focuses on on-time graduation and rewards graduates in STEM fields, such as math and science.
Cardinal Commitment: Developing Champions
The Cardinal Commitment: Developing Champions capital campaign was announced in April 2013.
By the end of 2014, the university estimates the campaign will raise $20 million for upgrading and renovating athletic facilities.
A new basketball and volleyball practice facility will be built on the northwest side of Worthen Arena with a practice court, basketball locker rooms and expanded volleyball locker rooms.
The baseball and softball diamonds will be renovated to include more team rooms, better restroom and concessions facilities and upgrades to the field and press box.
A new football complex will be installed in the southeast corner of Scheumann Stadium that will create more space for meetings and hold a new locker room.
A new golf practice facility will finalize the main objectives of the project, housing hitting bays, a putting green and locker rooms for both golf teams. The university still hasn’t decided on its location, with athletic director Bill Scholl only saying it will be on a golf course close to campus.
In May 2009, the university started a two-phase geothermal project.
When complete, the system will provide heating and cooling to more than 45 buildings on campus. The university estimates the new system will save the university $2 million each year and reduce Ball State’s carbon footprint by half. It is the largest geothermal district energy system in the United States.
Phase one was completed in March 2012 and allowed Ball State to shut down two coal-fired boilers.
The second phase was put on pause when funding ran out, after 1,800 boreholes were drilled on the south side of campus.
The state approved $30 million to finish the project in May 2013, According to the university, phase two will be completed in 2015.
According to the university website, Ball State was included in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges” for four years and has earned a Second Nature Climate Leadership Award as a result of the geothermal project. In 2010, Ball State was named the Technology Innovator of the Year by the Hoosier Environmental Council.
2005 – Gora received the Torchbearer Award from the Indiana Commission for Women for her commitment to higher education
2005 – Gora received a Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s highest civilian honor
2007 – “Indianapolis Business Journal” named her one of the most influential women in Indiana
2008 – awarded an honorary doctorate from Yeugnam University in South Korea
2008 – she was named one of 15 “Women of Wonder”
2009 – Gora was given the Mira Trailbrazer Award from TechPoint for her contributions to Indiana’s technology innovation