The Ball State Board of Trustees met May 6 to discuss plans for the 2022-23 school year, where Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns appointed two members to the Muncie Community School (MCS) Board, and two members were re-appointed.
Brittany Bales and WaTasha Barnes-Griffin were appointed by Mearns, and the remainder of the board voted Keith O’Neal and James Williams to rejoin.
Bales is a lecturer of special education at Ball State and Barnes-Griffin is the executive director of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Muncie, Indiana. Williams served as the board’s president and O’Neal as the board’s vice president.
These four board members join three board members Mark Ervin, Jim Lowe and Dave Heeter.
“What really amazed me, but didn't surprise me one bit is the community’s support,” Matt Momper, chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, said. “The foundations jumped in without blinking, by the banks, businesses and individuals. The true Muncie spirit was there.”
Alan Finn, vice president for business affairs and treasurer, said Ball State could save around $2 million dollars from their 2013 Auxiliary Debt.
The overall debt total was $355 million and 57 percent of the total is reimbursed by the state. The $2 million comes from housing and dining spending. The student fee bonds, which are reimbursable by the state, will pay out until 2041, and the housing and dining bonds will pay out until 2039.
“We think we found an opportunity that might be beneficial to the university to refinance the series, our most recent analysis… shows that we could probably save over $2 million on this, which is about a little over $200,000 a year that would be savings on our Housing and Dining budgets,” Finn said.
Ro-Anne Royer Engle, vice president of student affairs, presented four freedom of expression policy changes.
The first two policies, which are revised, cover the selection and presentation of lecturers and speakers who visit campus. The other two policies cover commercial and noncommercial expressive activity on university property.
The Academic and Student Affairs Committee met with Ball State’s Student Government Association and University Senate about these four policies. Due to Ball State’s trademark policies being un-updated since 2013, the Finance, Facilities and Planning Committee brought it up, Finn said.
The policies upgrade the language to reflect that three divisions work together on the trademark; athletics, marketing, communications and businesses payers all collaborate on these opportunities. The committee will also add a reference to the Ball State name, image and likeness.
“We're being a little bit less restrictive on the potential opportunities for licensing a trademark so that we can be a little bit more flexible and move a little bit quicker when we get opportunities,” Finn said. “If we see an opportunity that makes sense to Ball State is that perhaps license and use our logos.”
The Employee Development and Wellbeing Committee presented the personnel report. Four Ball State employees are retiring with Emeritus status: Vice Provost for Research Sue McDowell, Data Integration and Application Solutions Analyst Paul Neubauer, Associate Director of Admission Brian Barber and Indiana Public Radio Content Director Lori Georgi.
The board also recognized Ball State Daily News’ 100-year anniversary. Lisa Renze-Rhodes, Daily News adviser and director of the Unified Media Lab, Taylor Smith, the outgoing editor-in-chief and Elissa Maudlin, the incoming editor-in-chief, presented the 100-year anniversary proclamation with Dean of the College of Communications Paaige Turner.
The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for June 17, 2022.