Momper honored as trustee emeritus

The Ball State Board of Trustees in between committee meetings Dec. 15 at the Student Center. The board will meet again Jan. 24, 2024. Daniel Kehn, DN
The Ball State Board of Trustees in between committee meetings Dec. 15 at the Student Center. The board will meet again Jan. 24, 2024. Daniel Kehn, DN

“Involved is when a chicken gives an egg, commitment is what you get when a hog gives you bacon.”

Ball State Board of Trustees Secretary Mike McDaniel did not mince words when describing the commitment of the newly named Trustee Emeritus Matt Momper before the approval of his title Dec. 15 at the end-of-semester board of trustees meeting.

It marked the end of a 16-year stint on the board for the Fort Wayne resident. His time saw three separate Indiana Governors and achievements like a new geothermal heating and cooling system, launching the village revitalization project and selecting the university’s 17th president, Geoffrey Mearns in 2017, where Momper chaired the search committee.

“Wow, I’ve been thinking about this day for a long time,” Momper said. “It’s really an honor to serve on this board the last 16 years… it was a lot of hard work, as you all know, but it was so fulfilling, the opportunity to work with you, my fellow trustees, and all you, the Ball State family. It’s just unbelievable. It’s [an opportunity] I’ll never forget.”

Finance, facilities and planning committee

The session opened with the finance, facilities and planning committee as revisions were approved to the university’s investment policy. 

Additions were added in the definition of Impact Investments “describing them as an investment opportunity which has a special relationship or value to the mission and longevity of the university, and which promotes the well-being of the university community, as defined by the board,” the agenda read. 

In addition to the revisions in the investment policy, Alan Finn, vice president for business affairs and treasurer, presented information regarding the university’s investment portfolio for quarter-ending review, investment updates on OPEB (Other Postemployement Benefits) and VEBA (Voluntary Employee’s Beneficiary Association) and the audited financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.

Audit and Compliance Committee 

The audit and compliance committee accepted the audited financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023, approved disclosure statements and heard an update from Chifundo Bilwita, director of internal audit and advisory services, on the current audit plan while approving his annual audit plan. 

The four disclosures of financial statements, presented by Finn, were from three faculty members for textbook royalties and one faculty member who provided services at Camp Adventure for the Department of Education. The statements were submitted by:

  • Brian Gorman (Kendall Hunt Publishing)
  • Tayla Lee (Oxford University Press)
  • Susan Wilezynski (Elsevier)
  • Stephanie Wilson (Camp Adventure)

Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports 

After an update on the university senate from Senate Chair Nathan Bogert, Ro-Anne Royer Engle, vice president of student affairs, presented the annual security and fire safety reports. 

Per the 2022 main campus crime report, there were 13 on-campus rape reports and non-campus reports, two reported on-campus burglaries and one non-campus. There was also one case of on-campus domestic violence, 13 cases of on-campus dating violence (up eight from 2021) and seven cases (up one from 2021) of on-campus stalking. 

In terms of arrests, the report notes three on-campus weapons offenses (up two from 2021), five on-campus drug abuse violations (down three from 2021) and 20 on-campus liquor law violations (up 15 from 2021).

In main campus disciplinary referrals, there were 51 drug abuse violations (down 15 from 2021) and 163 liquor violations (up 44 from 2021).

At the Ball State: INDY and Ball State: Fishers campuses, there was not a single reported crime, criminal arrest or disciplinary referral in 2022, according to the report. 

After the security and fire safety reports, Vice Provost for Student Success and Dean of University College Jason Rivera presented an update on student success and retention update. 

Rivera highlighted that the university’s retention rates from Fall 2022 to Fall 2023 are almost 5 percent higher than Fall 2021 to 2022. He went on to speak on the focus on first-semester success for students which included the following:

  • Changing the approach to advising during orientation. 
  • Examining data to identify first-semester barrier courses. 
  • Revisiting four-year degree plans to identify toxic course combinations. 
  • Continuing to leverage first-year experience courses and programming. 
  • Expanding learning center support through embedded tutoring & piloting professional tutoring for first-year barrier math and science courses.

The meeting ended with Paaige Turner, dean of the College of Communication, Information and Media presenting updates on the college’s faculty, enrollment and strategy, retention and graduation, learning experiences, student support, esports and future innovation. 

Newly named Trustee Emeritus Matt Momper poses for a photo with Board Chair Renae Conley Dec. 15 at the Student Center. Momper served on the board for 16 years. Daniel Kehn, DN

Employee Development and Wellbeing Committee

The board passed two approvals during the committee meeting, a personnel report from Finn that WHAT and employee undergraduate and graduate tuition remission programs.

The changes come after the board approved a change in September to the tuition remission policy applicable to service personnel to remove the requirement that employees complete their probationary period before utilizing these benefits. 

During the meeting, University President Geoffrey Mearns announced Ball State had just secured a $35 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to further its plans to revitalize the Village. 

The board of trustees will meet again Jan. 26, 2024.
Contact Daniel Kehn with comments at or on X @daniel_kehn.


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