The Board of Trustees had a board meeting on March 14 to start the discussion of the search for the new president. Trustee Chairman Rick Hall announced there will be public forums for the campus community to share what they would like to see in the next president. DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY
University to host public forums to guide presidential selection
Editor's note: Levi Todd is a columnist for the Daily News
The university will be hosting public forums to get input from the campus community about what they want to see in the next president.
Trustee Chairman Rick Hall announced at the Board of Trustees meeting on March 14 that the board wants to hear from the public to hear their opinion on where the university should go — which includes the next president.
The dates and times of the forums have yet to be determined.
Hall said Trustee Matt Momper is chairing the search committee for the next president. The process will involve a search committee, which contains representation from alumni, students, faculty, administration and staff.
Those people will all gather to consider applications for recommendation to the Board of Trustees for selection.
"We hope it will be reflective of the Ball State community as a whole," Hall said.
Momper said just like when former President Paul W. Ferguson was chosen, they will have an email address — email@example.com — in case people can't be at the open forums and have questions or comments they would like to tell the board.
Hall said he hopes to come back at the April meeting to share who that consultant will be, as well as the names of the full search committee.
At that point, around late April, they'll work to develop the best pool of applicants and begin interviewing people.
If the process goes perfectly, the decision could be made early Fall 2016. However, Hall said he didn't want to put a deadline on themselves.
“It’s important for us to get a very strong leader and important to get the right person," he said. "It wouldn't be surprising if this lasted into next year's academic year."
At the meeting, students and faculty again brought up transparency issues.
Levi Todd, a sophomore English major who has been outspoken about a lack of transparency, asked Hall if they would consider doing another Beneficence Dialogue for students to voice their concerns in an open forum, since it had been so successful last year.
Todd said at the last board meeting he attended, he did not come away with the answers he wanted.
"I feel like my questions were heard, but I don’t feel that they were answered," he said. "I left with a lot of concerns that were unaddressed, and I would love to have the opportunity to explore those more with the Board of Trustees and the university."
Hall said he was not familiar with the Beneficence Dialogue.
Acting President Terry King recommended Todd talk to the Student Government Association.
King said he would follow up with SGA to find the best way to get student voices heard. However, Todd said student government wasn't representative of everyone, and he wanted a way for all students to get their voices heard.
King said creating another Beneficence Dialogue was certainly something the board could take under advisement.
Dustin Meeks, the student representative on the Board of Trustees, said any time the student body has a chance to talk to SGA members, they should do so.
"I think SGA tries very hard to be representative of the population," he said. "A conversation with them could be valuable in terms of trying to advance your cause."