Founded in 1918, Ball State University (BSU) is recognized for embracing beneficence and the enduring values of excellence, innovation, courage, integrity, inclusiveness, social responsibility, and gratitude. Located in Muncie, Indiana, with satellite campuses in Fishers and Indianapolis, BSU is committed to providing an innovative, learner-centered learning experience in a welcoming, collaborative culture that inspires passion and purpose for a fulfilling career and a meaningful life. Ball State University currently enrolls over 22,500 students engaged in undergraduate, graduate, certificate, and specialist programs, and BSU prides itself on maintaining a welcoming environment for a diverse population of students of all ethnicities, genders, identities, faiths, and backgrounds. As a public research institution, BSU offers 120 undergraduate majors and 94 graduate disciplines, and boasts a 16:1 student-faculty ratio. Ball State is ranked #1 in the country in College Magazine’s “Top 10 Campuses for Students with Physical Disabilities,” and, for the fifth year in a row, has earned the “Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award” from Insight into Diversity.

The Position


Reporting to the chief strategy officer in the president’s office, the office of inclusive excellence seeks an exceptional associate vice president for inclusive excellence (AVPIE) to lead all campus-wide efforts to develop a vision and the strategies needed to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. The AVPIE will be a seasoned leader with substantial knowledge and experience in developing systems of accountability that ensure successful implementation and outcomes of initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Working with other campus leaders, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, the AVPIE will create a positive learning and working environment where all have an opportunity to succeed. The AVPIE will engage the university community in order to foster a campus climate focused on ensuring all members feel respected, valued, and supported. The AVPIE plays a critical role in developing networks across campus that integrate and align campus and community diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) planning, programming, and other strategic initiatives. The AVPIE must demonstrate evidence of successful strategic planning, program development, supervision, and budget management. This leadership position must consistently contribute to the understanding and appreciation of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and display evidence of advancing inclusive excellence through collaboration and partnership. It is anticipated that the efforts led by the AVPIE will position the university for local, regional, and national recognition in the field.

Additional responsibilities of the associate vice president include the following.

1. Serve as a spokesperson to internal and external audiences on the university’s inclusive excellence-related initiatives
2. Champion the importance and value of inclusive excellence in the region’s campus environment and in communities
3. Serve as chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Inclusive Excellence
4. Create, organize, and execute diversity and inclusive excellence-related training sessions for university staff, faculty, and students
5. Guide the President’s Cabinet, academic leadership, and Human Resource Services on recruitment, hiring, and retention matters
6. Collaborate with campus stakeholders to assess potential barriers to inclusive excellence and develop strategies for success informed by emerging best practices
7. Collaborate with campus units with diversity and inclusive excellence-related plans and activities
8. Work with partner units to select topics and recruit leaders for diversity and inclusive excellence seminars and workshops throughout the academic year
9. Advise various campus entities on campus climate issues; lead the efforts to improve the campus climate for underrepresented minorities and protected populations in partnership with other units
10. Oversee the management of the Office of Inclusive Excellence website, including relevant information from external searches
11. Participate in continuous learning about diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence emerging best practices and apply relevant knowledge gained to the university’s initiatives
12. Establish and lead a committee for the selection of the Marshall Scholarship
13. Serve as a resource and liaison to student organizations regarding issues of diversity and inclusion, in collaboration with Student Affairs
14. Regularly meet with the chief strategy officer, the provost, the vice president for student affairs, and the associate vice president for human resources to ensure that inclusive excellence planning and execution are coordinated and aligned across all dimensions of the university
15. Work with the Ball State University Foundation and the Sponsored Projects Office to identify and obtain external sources of funding in support of inclusive excellence

History of the Position

Since 1998, Ball State University institutionalized the importance of Diversity Equity and Inclusion with the establishment of the Diversity Policy Institute. Through this institute, faculty members were selected as Diversity Associates to develop curricular modules emphasizing diversity and multicultural themes for class use. In 2007, the Diversity Policy Institute became the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID), and the institute’s director became the university’s assistant provost for diversity. Also, that year, by Indiana state legislation, Ball State’s Board of Trustees established the University Diversity Committee as an advisory group to OID and the assistant provost for diversity. Annual university diversity reports have been provided to the Board of Trustees since before the legislation was enacted. In 2013, a new OID director was appointed with the rank of associate provost and the first Diversity Strategic Plan was launched. In 2018, under the leadership of President Geoffrey Mearns, the Office of Institutional Diversity became the Office of Inclusive Excellence ensuring that inclusive excellence remains an enduring value that guides the university’s ability to achieve its goals and fulfill its mission. The present Inclusive Excellence Plan centers Inclusive Excellence in every aspect of the university’s mission. At present, Melinda Messineo, professor of sociology, is serving as interim.


Ball State University stakeholders expressed overall enthusiasm and support for the office, and in identifying a collaborative and visionary thought partner capable of moving the university’s inclusive excellence priorities and goals forward. Campus stakeholders desire an experienced leader, an advocate and change agent, with excellent communication skills and proven ability to work effectively with staff members across campus and at various levels of development and knowledge. The associate vice president should demonstrate authenticity, passion, and care in all endeavors.

Stakeholders within the office of inclusive excellence expressed their desire for a leader that will bring awareness of the office and articulate the purpose and vision broadly across the university and in the community, while continuing the work outlined in the inclusive excellence plan in effect until 2024. There is positive momentum in the plan, which can inform the next leader while they establish themselves and learn the culture on campus and identify key initiatives to include in the next strategic plan. The associate vice president must be comfortable analyzing surveys, reports, and data to identify and assess areas of improvement, including staff and faculty retention, as well as campus culture, as noted in the conversations with campus stakeholders.

The AVPIE will:

  • Take ownership to advance and scale the work from the existing inclusive excellence plan.
  • Continue the momentum and mobilize an engaged community of staff, faculty, alumni, and students who want to support, encourage, and unify the community.
  • Increase visibility for the office of inclusive excellence to garner support and participation in DEI efforts across campus and the local community.
  • Utilize assessment tools to identify disparity and gaps and make recommendations for improvement.


The following items will define future success for the AVPIE at Ball State University.

  • The AVPIE is broadly recognized as the chief diversity officer for the positive trajectory of Ball State’s DEI commitments and efforts and partners with the university community to move the university inclusive excellence plan forward to implementation.
  • The AVPIE is an equal, strategic thought partner to Chief Strategy Officer Alexander, President Mearns, and Provost Rivera-Mills in articulating an authentic vision for DEI and moving the university closer to a more diverse, responsive, and equitable position that is notable and supported by appropriate data points.
  • There is evidence of greater awareness and a broad, intersectional understanding of DEI and the office’s efforts of inclusive excellence throughout the university community.
  • The AVPIE is engaged in measuring the effectiveness of the inclusive excellence plan and university-wide DEI efforts and holds the campus community accountable.
  • The AVPIE has leveraged the existing inclusive excellence plan within the campus community, nurtured and helped the various units fulfill their divisional plans, and drawn on the energy and momentum of those plans to elevate the work at the university level.
  • The AVPIE has initiated evidence-based efforts and accompanying systems of assessment to address culture, climate, and student and staff retention, as well as advanced the university’s articulated goals for diversity, representation, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging.
  • The AVPIE listens intently, has good working relationships with key partners across campus, and identifies synergies between the campus efforts and the broader Muncie community to advance the university’s DEI goals.
  • The AVPIE is deep-seated in the local and campus community and is the inclusive excellence champion, point person, and DEI expert and educator on campus.



The successful candidate for the AVPIE will be an accomplished leader with a master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education; an earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education is preferred. The AVPIE will have at least seven (7) years of demonstrated experience advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in complex organizations, preferably within higher education or related institutions. The successful candidate will have experience in institutional leadership at the college, division, and/or university level and an exceptional ability to communicate effectively in oral and written form. The AVPIE will have experience with developing or delivering events or programming related to inclusive excellence.

Preferred qualifications include demonstrated evidence of successful strategic planning, program development, supervision, and budget management; consistent contribution to the understanding and appreciation of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education; and evidence of advancing inclusive excellence through collaboration and partnership. In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated above, other desired characteristics, skills, actions, and/or abilities noted from discussions with campus stakeholders include the following.

  • Confidently serve as the campus DEI subject matter expert—demonstrate a deep personal and professional commitment to DEI, anti-racism, and social justice issues.
  • Be innovative and a strategic visionary who is future-focused while also being grounded in an appreciation for the current environment’s context.
  • Demonstrate exceptional skill in relationship development, building trust, tact, diplomacy, visibility, transparency, and investment in a wide variety of stakeholders who can collaborate across the university.
  • Possess strong political acumen with the ability to connect with a diverse network of internal constituencies and external stakeholders through excellent interpersonal, listening, and communication skills.
  • Demonstrate ability to navigate many different voices and opinions to foster community among students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
  • Be balanced in approach and values, building connections to partner with campus groups to elicit constructive feedback and collaborate on change
    Exude competence and understand the position as part of a larger ecosystem needed to mobilize and support institutional engagement efforts in DEI.
  • Able to model a commitment to personal growth and development and to nurturing the talents of others through strong mentoring, coaching, and team building.
  • Be a team player who can foster a collaborative approach to achieving goals.
  • Possess the highest degree of personal and professional ethics and integrity.
  • Possess excellent interpersonal and conflict resolution skills.

Institution & Location

Institutional background/history

Ball State’s unwavering belief in an education rooted in creativity, values, and intellectual curiosity began in the late 19th century, when Muncie business leaders envisioned a local college to help boost the city’s development.

Among the visionaries were the five Ball Brothers—Lucius, William, Edmund, Frank, and George— industrialists and philanthropists who moved from New York to Muncie looking to expand their glass container business.

A small, private teacher training school opened 1899. After the community’s efforts to sustain the college failed, the Ball brothers purchased the land and buildings of the defunct institution and donated them to the State of Indiana. This gift became the Indiana State Normal School Eastern Division, which opened in 1918 to meet Indiana’s need for more and better teachers.

In recognition of the Ball family’s generosity, the Indiana General Assembly changed the school’s name to Ball Teachers College in 1922, and then Ball State Teachers College in 1929.

By the 1960s, the regional teachers college had begun to attract faculty from outside the Midwest, and students sought majors in areas such as business, architecture, and other emerging disciplines. Enrollment and funding surged with national trends, and new facilities and degree offerings were added.

In 1965, the Indiana General Assembly renamed the college Ball State University, acknowledging its phenomenal growth in enrollment and facilities, the variety and quality of its educational programs and services, and the anticipation of the broader role it would play in the state’s future.

Recognition and Awards

Ball State University was:

  • Ranked No. 1 in Indiana (53rd nationally) on U.S. News & World Report’s “2020 Top Performers on Social Mobility,” a list of institutions that advance social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of economically disadvantaged students. It also was included on the lists of the top 100 public universities, best undergraduate teaching, and best first-year experiences.
  • Listed among “Colleges Where Applications Are on Rise” by 24/7 Wall St. in 2018. In an analysis of 600 institutions, it was No. 34, with applications up almost 73 percent in five years.
  • Named one of the best universities in the Midwest by The Princeton Review for 16 years.
  • Designated a doctoral university: higher research activity by The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
  • Among the top seven (7) percent of universities worldwide in 2019-2020, according to the Center for World University Rankings.
  • Earned the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The classification recognizes colleges and universities that
    demonstrate an institution-wide commitment to public service, civic involvement, and community partnerships.
  • The recipient of a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight into Diversity for five years in a row. This honor is for exemplary initiatives focusing on all aspects of diversity and inclusion, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community.
  • Named No. 1 in the country in College Magazine’s “Top 10 Campuses for Students with Physical Disabilities.”
  • Ranked in the top 20 in the country for two graduate programs in U.S. News & World Report’s “2019 Best Online Programs:” MBA and nursing were 13th and education was 38th. U.S. News also ranked BSU’s online bachelor’s programs 25th.
  • Recognized as the first higher education institution in the country to earn Quality Matters’ Learner Support Program Certification. Quality Matters, known as QM, provides a nationally recognized standard of best practices for online and blended learning.
  • Ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s “2019 Best Online Programs for Veterans” at No. 12 in graduate education and No. 20 in bachelor’s programs.
  • Named a Military Friendly School since 2010 by veteran-owned Viqtory. In 2019, Viqtory also ranked BSU’s online programs seventh in the country.
  • Located in Muncie, Indiana, which 24/7 Wall St. listed among its “30 Best College Towns in America” in 2019.

Student Success at Ball State University

Ball State University is holistically committed to a model of student success with a premier undergraduate experience that provides a seamless program of services to support students throughout their academic career. The university’s comprehensive enrollment management strategy engages colleges, academic departments, and the entire campus in the recruitment, retention, and success of all students. As part of an overall comprehensive strategy to promote success, the BSU student success model incorporates the following: rigorous academic advising; an engaged First Year Experience; a commitment to a more diverse community; a personalized record that translates students’ academic and co-curricular experiences into a clear description of learning outcomes, competencies, and transferable skills; engagement with external partners; and a core curriculum which incorporates innovative pedagogy, highimpact, transdisciplinary approaches to learning and problem-solving, and the development of cultural competencies, global awareness, and transferable skills. Through this collaborative model, BSU promises to assist students in discovering their purpose and translating that purpose into a fulfilling career and a meaningful life; to allow students the opportunity to work side-by-side with teacher-scholars to expand immersive learning and research experiences; to actively seek students’ ideas, perspectives, and voices; to provide support for physical, mental, and emotional health; to promote opportunities to meaningfully engage with partners beyond campus; and to ensure a vibrant, diverse university community for all students, faculty, and staff.


“We engage students in educational, research, and creative endeavors that empower our graduates to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives enriched by lifelong learning and service, while we enhance the economic, environmental, and social vitality of our community, our state, and our world.”

Enduring Values

We commit to excel in all that we do.

We commit to be creative, responsive, and progressive.

We commit to set ambitious goals and to take the risks necessary to achieve those goals.

We commit to be honest, ethical, authentic, and accessible.

We commit to respect and embrace equity, inclusion, and diversity in people, ideas, and opinions.

Social Responsibility
We commit to act for the benefit of society at large.

We commit to express appreciation to others and to demonstrate our gratitude through our actions.

Strategic Plan

Destination 2040: Our Flight Path establishes Ball State University’s ambitious goals for its second century. This plan was designed with input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, community partners, and benefactors. It provides a strategic framework with five long-term goals for 2040 and a small set of strategic imperatives to be executed by 2024.

Goal 1: Undergraduate excellence and innovation
Our university provides a premier on-campus undergraduate experience.
Goal 2: Graduate education and lifetime learning
Our university expands its reach and impact along the continuum of human development and is nationally recognized for serving graduate students and other adults throughout their lifetime educational journey and for our agility in anticipating and responding to workforce needs.
Goal 3: Community engagement and impact
As a community-engaged institution, our university is internationally recognized for mobilizing and leading partnerships that revitalize and sustain our city and our region.
Goal 4: Scholarship and societal impact
As a public research institution, our university recruits and retains outstanding faculty and staff who engage in scholarship—of discovery, integration, application, and teaching—that garners national and international recognition, attracts external resources, and improves lives.
Goal 5: Institutional and inclusive excellence
Our university is distinguished for institutional effectiveness and inclusive excellence across all dimensions of our work and for having a positive and vibrant culture of wellbeing that helps our faculty and staff lead engaged and meaningful lives.

To read the strategic plan in its entirety, visit the website at

About Muncie, IN

The city of Muncie was incorporated in 1865. Contrary to popular legend, the city is not named after a mythological Chief Munsee, rather it was named after Munsee Town, the settlers’ name for the Indian village on the site, “Munsee” meaning a member of the Lenape people or one of their languages.

With the Gas Boom came the Ball Brothers, a family rooted at the heart of Muncie development. The Ball Brothers are known for bringing Ball Corporation to Muncie, funding local businesses, and serving the community with philanthropical acts.

Muncie was deemed Middletown after sociological studies conducted by Robert and Helen Lynd found the city to be a “typical Mid-American community.” The studies drew attention to Muncie and since then, the community has been a continually studied town for social change in America.

Emens Auditorium is Muncie’s go-to for entertainment. Emens boasts past entertainers that include Third Eye Blind, David Letterman, and many other prestigious performers. Canan Commons is an urban park located in the heart of downtown. The Three Trails Music Series is a venue for community members to enjoy brown bag lunches, cultural events, and outdoor films.

Minnetrista further emphasizes the Ball family’s impact on the community. Minnetrista opened in 1978 as a center to display local artifacts and the history of East Central Indiana. It now features themed gardens and a nature area free to the public.

The League of American Bicyclists recognized the City of Muncie with a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community award, joining 374 visionary communities from across the country.

On a more personal note, stakeholders at BSU adamantly praised the environment in which they live and work, using such terms as “safe,” “inviting,” and “comfortable” when describing Muncie. According to stakeholders, Muncie has a robust dining scene, arts and culture are readily available, and there are a number of parks and trails that promote biking and other outdoor activities. With all four seasons, a relatively low cost of living, and an easy drive to larger metropolitan areas such as Indianapolis, Chicago Cincinnati, and Louisville, Muncie has something for everyone. Regarding the institution, stakeholders reiterated that while BSU is a medium-sized public institution, it still “feels” much smaller and more personal, and that the environment is a very positive one in which to work. For more information on relocating to Ball State and the Muncie area, please visit the Ball State Relocation Website.

Learn more about living and working in East Central Indiana:
Forge Your Path:


Geoffrey S. Mearns, President

President Geoffrey S. Mearns serves as the 17th president of Ball State University.

After joining the University in May 2017, President Mearns helped to develop a new strategic plan. Destination 2040: Our Flight Path establishes a long-range vision for the university that sets priorities across five key areas as noted above.

During his tenure, President Mearns has pursued initiatives that have produced the largest freshman class in history and increased alumni engagement and fundraising. President Mearns has also strengthened the university’s relationship with the community, most notably through its innovative partnership with Muncie Community Schools.

President Mearns earned his undergraduate degree in English from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. After a legal career that included serving as a federal prosecutor, President Mearns held academic and administrative roles at Cleveland State University, and then served as president of Northern Kentucky University. He and his wife, Jennifer, have five children.


Dr. Charlene Alexander, Chief Strategy Officer

Dr. Charlene Alexander returned to Ball State University as chief strategy officer in November 2021, after serving as vice president and chief diversity officer at Oregon State University for four years. Dr. Alexander has served in several leadership positions at Ball State University for 24 years.

In her role, she is responsible for helping the university execute the imperatives outlined in its strategic plan, Destination 2040: Our Flight Path. Dr. Alexander also oversees Ball State’s Offices of Institutional Research and Decision Support, Community Engagement, and Inclusive Excellence.

Throughout her career, Dr. Alexander has been a champion for initiatives related to diversity and inclusion. She formerly served at Ball State as a professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services—where she directed the School Counseling program for 16 years—and as associate provost for diversity and interim associate vice president for community engagement.

Under her leadership, Ball State developed its first Diversity Strategic Plan and released its first statement on the Importance of Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Alexander’s efforts led to Ball State receiving the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for the first time in 2016.

She holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and an MS in Counseling and Guidance and a BA in Psychology from Creighton University

Academic Programs and Faculty

Ball State’s academic colleges provide innovative programs that give students access to professional experiences and advanced technology from day one:

• R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning
• Miller College of Business
• College of Communication, Information, and Media
• College of Fine Arts
• College of Health
• College of Sciences and Humanities
• Teachers College
• Honors College
• University College

The Student Body

Fall 2020
• 21,597 total students
• 3,567 first time undergraduates
• 14,053 female; 7436 male; 108 undisclosed
• 15,580 full-time students
• 15,987 resident students
• 16,323 white
• 1,876 black or African American
• 1,479 Hispanic
• 730 two or more races
• 426 Asian
• 28 American Indian or Alaskan Native
• 28 Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
• 403 not reported
• 304 non-resident

Benefits Overview


Ball State University offers a comprehensive package of benefits, including:

• Retirement plans
• Tuition assistance and remission plans
• Medical and prescription plans
• Dental plans
• Flexible spending plans
• Life insurance
• Disability plans
• Voluntary benefits
• Health savings accounts

For more information on Ball State benefits, visit the website at

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Roxanna P. Cruz at and Quincy Martin III at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

 Visit the Ball State University website at

Ball State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protecte