University receives $87.5 million from state for STEM programs

<p>Ball State's online programs earned high rankings in&nbsp;the U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 “Best Online Programs.”&nbsp;Over 70 completely online programs, including&nbsp;undergraduate certificates, bachelor’s degrees and doctoral programs,&nbsp;serve about 5,000 off-campus students. <em>Grace Ramey // DN File</em></p>

Ball State's online programs earned high rankings in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 “Best Online Programs.” Over 70 completely online programs, including undergraduate certificates, bachelor’s degrees and doctoral programs, serve about 5,000 off-campus students. Grace Ramey // DN File

The state will be fully funding phase two of Ball State's STEM and Health Professions Facility Expansion Project. 

Ball State has received $87.5 million through bonds to fund a new 175,000-square-foot facility that will allow the foundational sciences academic programs to grow on campus. STEM programs focus on educating students on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

"[The bonds] will advance our university's priorities on providing students with educational opportunities in cutting-edge environments that simulate the worlds in which they will work after graduation," said interim president Terry King in an email to faculty. 

The new facility will allow the university to continue to clear out Cooper Science Complex for renovations. Students petitioned to state legislators about replacing the building altogether in early April. They say Cooper isn't a good work environment, and needs to be renovated to make the atmosphere safer and more productive. 

King told the University Senate in late March the building "needs to be replaced" because of how expensive it is to keep up. The project will begin this summer, according to previous Daily News reporting.

This new facility will be in addition to Ball State's new College of Health, which will cost $62.5 million in bonds the Board of Trustees recently approved

King said the university "fared well" during the 2017 legislative session. 

The state also approved $2 million to fund Launch Indiana, a university partnership that helps to develop entrepreneurial innovations across the state. 

Funding for the university grew 3.2 percent for 2017-18 and 1.7 percent for 2018-19, King said in the email. 

Overall for state appropriations, Ball State will receive $130.3 million for the 2017-18 school year and $132.5 million for 2018-19.

State appropriations represent about a third of the university's general fund budget. Using these funds will allow the university to remain competitive in the marketplace, King said. 

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