A Ball State alumnus who will be joining the Ball State Board of Trustees says service, building a relationship with the city of Muncie and building the reputation of Ball State in Indiana are what he considers important. 

Henry O. Hall, president of Skytech Products Group, a manufacturer and distributor of control systems for the hearth, heating, and cooling industries, was announced by Gov. Eric Holcomb in June as one of the two appointments to the Board of Trustees. 

The Fort Wayne resident graduated from Ball State in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and played football during his time at the university. 

Being an athlete, a minority, a first-generation college student and one of the relatively younger board members, Hall said he believes he will bring “a different point of view” to the board.

“I may be more in tune with some of the struggles that minorities have,” Hall said. “I’ll maybe be able to shed some light on the challenges of [first-generation] students and helping them reach the end of their college career and graduate, as opposed to coming off of financial hardships, other responsibilities, other challenges that may hinder them from achieving or earning their degree.”

Hall previously served on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, an organization where he was once a little being paired with a big brother who still keeps in contact with him today.

“I know for me, success hasn’t been gotten on my own. I have always had people who helped me along the way with a kind word, a listening ear, people mentoring me,” he said. “Me giving back through serving, I think is more of an obligation than it is a choice.”

Hall also reflected on Ball State’s Strategic Plan and the importance of measuring Ball State’s success over the coming years.

“The thing you have to do is build metrics around some of those qualitative goals to ensure that you are able to measure them,” he said. “You have to have quantitative goals to go with it and you measure early and often.” 

While his initial goal is to learn more as a trustee, one of his goals is to “assist the university to come out of the shadows of IU, Purdue and Notre Dame in the state of Indiana.”

He said he wanted the state’s residents to know Ball State cares about them, wants to educate them and help them in their lives and careers. 

Hall also said the relationship between Ball State and Muncie is “an important component of Ball State.”

“It’s hard to be in a community and feel like you’re on an island on campus, and that the campus is the sole part of Ball State and Muncie, when it’s just a part of it,” he said. “Engaging in the community in meaningful ways is going to be paramount to the university.”

He said this can be done by connecting Ball State programs with the community and school system and inviting the community to be part of Ball State on a regular basis.

“The other thing that drives that relationship is we’ve got to be willing to sit down with stakeholders in the community and listen to what they want, particularly from the university,” Hall said. “Their voice is important and [we must] try to accommodate them when possible.”

Rick Hall, chair of the Board of Trustees, said he looked forward to working with Hall and Rebeca Mena, the new student trustee, in a Ball State press release.

“Since his graduation, trustee Hall has become a successful business professional and a loyal alumnus,” he said. “Ball State University will benefit greatly from [Hall and Mena’s] talents, experiences, and passion.”

Hall joined the board as its alumnus member and will serve until Dec. 31, 2022.

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.