The Opportunity

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

Student Success at Ball State University

Ball State University (BSU) 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, high-impact, 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.

Role of the Associate Vice Provost for University College and Student Success for Ball State University

Reporting to the vice provost for academic affairs, the associate vice provost (AVP) for University College and student success is responsible for developing, implementing, and assessing a comprehensive vision of student academic success, persistence, and retention, based on academic transformation, community-building, and growth, that is aligned with the University’s strategic plan. The AVP serves as the vice provost’s lead administrator for all matters related to student academic success services and manages the following departments: Academic Advising, the Learning Center, Student Athlete Support Services, and the First Year Experience. Working conjunctively with these departments, the AVP will seek continuous improvement for student success at BSU, with special attention to students who are currently at risk, on academic probation, traditionally underserved by the University system, or returning to the institution.

Responsibilities of the associate vice provost include the following:

  • Utilizing a network of relationships across campus, effectively supports student academic success and fosters a culture of self-confidence and community; works collaboratively and proactively with other offices, such as Student Life, the Career Center, and Inclusive Excellence, to provide a comprehensive structure of support services for BSU students that will empower them during their college years and help prepare them for their future careers.
  • Provides leadership for a holistic, proactive professional advising system that functions across the student life cycle; supports, intervenes, advocates, and recommends resources and solutions to academic challenges and barriers, and provides leadership for exploratory studies programs.
  • Creates, implements, and assesses a robust and comprehensive first-year experience that supports student engagement and community building, while also overseeing all University College curriculum, including the full range of First-Year Seminars and the Bachelor’s of General Studies program.
  • Comprehensively supports Student Athlete Support Services and BSU’s student athletes, in collaboration with the Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Athletics Department; remains current with the trends, rules, and regulations within intercollegiate athletics and advocates, supports, and intervenes to assist in addressing academic challenges and barriers for student athletes on campus.
  • Promotes data-driven academic success services and programs in the Learning Center, including supplemental instruction, peer tutoring, academic workshops, and academic coaching; develops new programs as needed in consultation with the Learning Center director.
  • Remains current on trends and best practices in all areas related to student success.
  • Provides guidance and support for the development and maintenance of the University Core Curriculum, serving as the ex officio representative to the University Core Curriculum Committee and the Undergraduate Education Committee.
  • Works collaboratively with other members of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs’ team to establish clear, measurable goals focused on the student life cycle for each academic year and semester; delineates responsibilities within the unit for reaching these goals and reports as required on the strategic plan initiatives and the unit action plans.
  • Creates annual progress reports and program evaluations in collaboration with the University College units.
  • Manages and creates the monthly and annual budget for University College, under the supervision of the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and in alignment with the University’s strategic initiatives.
  • Works with a staff of 84, including six (6) direct reports, 55 additional professional staff, eight (8) administrative staff, and 15 graduate students; oversees all matters related to supervision, interviewing, hiring, compensation, discipline, performance appraisal, training, and career development.

History of the Position

Prior to the arrival of Susana Rivera-Mills as university provost in summer 2018, the dual titles of dean of University College and associate vice provost for academic affairs were held by a single individual, and an associate dean assisted in the administration and supervision of the daily responsibilities of the unit. With the departure of the dean of University College and associate vice provost for academic affairs and the arrival of the new provost, the associate dean was appointed interim dean of University College. Due to other reorganization efforts within Academic Affairs at the time, decisions about the reorganization of University College were delayed. In fall 2020, the decision was made to elevate the dean of University College position to the associate vice provost for University College and student success and no longer maintain the dean or associate dean positions.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The new associate vice provost (AVP) for University College and student success must possess a broad understanding of academic practice and theory, as well as demonstrated experience in direct student engagement, and should have extensive proficiency in one or more of the areas under the purview of the position. The AVP should be a dynamic and respected leader who has had success building and advancing a progressive student success program at another institution, be capable of managing multiple priorities and departments, and be equipped to contribute at both a strategic and tactical level to the vibrant, student-centered University College and the larger Division of Academic Affairs at Ball State University.

It is essential to identify a competent and visionary individual who can promote and develop the staff in the department, set and implement strategic priorities, implement best practices, and work in tandem with the provost, vice provost, other members of the administration, and the University College staff to progressively, innovatively, and comprehensively move the program and the institution forward. The following were identified as possible opportunities, priorities, challenges, and themes that will face the new associate vice provost for University College and student success at Ball State University:

  • The new AVP must commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partner across campus for maximum effectiveness; BSU is committed to building relationships as a foundation of the campus culture, and strong collaboration is an absolute necessity in all endeavors to ensure success. Academic Affairs directly touches a vast number of individuals, departments, and other entities on campus, so it will be crucial that the new AVP quickly reach out across campus to begin the process of building strong relationships and partnerships to foster cooperative programming and to be a “connector” in all instances. These connections are essential in order to assess real needs, design student-centered programs, and provide high-end customer service at all times.
  • The AVP serves on the vice provost’s leadership team within the Division of Academic Affairs, and, operating through a student-success model that is focused holistically on the student from admission through matriculation, University College plays a vital role in this student-support mechanism, particularly in the area of retention. While this is a relatively new organizational structure and there are still areas that must be navigated, the synergies created have already proven a great boon to BSU students and have provided even more opportunities for collaboration and partnering.
  • Furthermore, University College is central to the BSU student success model as it houses a number of student academic success support services, including Upper Division and Freshman Academic Advising, the Learning Center (tutoring, academic coaching, peer mentoring supplemental instruction, and more), Student Athlete Support Services, and soon, the First Year Experience. The academic advisors provide crucial support during Orientation to assist students in enrolling in their first courses at the University, and Freshmen Academic Advising works with all first-year students to encourage persistence and good habits, particularly with those students traditionally underserved by the University system. The Upper Division advisors, located within the academic departments, specialize in proactively assisting students to successfully complete their programs of study and make them aware of other resources across campus. In the Learning Center, the staff is professionally certified and offers a variety of options tailored to meet student needs. Student Athlete Support Services administers individual monitoring and academic counseling, workshops, and study table participation which challenge student athletes to become proactive, to develop time-management and study strategies, and to stretch their individual sense of responsibility and maturity. University College has recently obtained a Lilly grant that will allow for a restructuring of a comprehensive first year experience, and the new director for that program will work with the freshmen advisors who specialize in exploratory studies. Through these programs, the new AVP must be a champion and advocate for student success and the programs and services offered through University College, promoting consistency, innovation, and best practices across the continuum.
  • The ability to grow, develop, and mentor a large and diverse professional staff, while building a strong and dedicated student success team, will be critical for success. The staff contains a number of both seasoned and new staff members, so the new AVP must be a strong motivator with high-level supervisory and staff-development skills. Support for the staff is critical, as professional development at all levels is expected, and navigating through the needs of this multidimensional and intergenerational structure will be an essential task for the new AVP.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential parts of the Ball State University community, and the AVP should be a leader in supporting, understanding, embracing, and nurturing these concepts. There are a large number of underrepresented populations within the institution, including a great number of first generation students, and University College needs to be a model for maintaining a strong sense of equity and an unbiased environment at all times. The new AVP should quickly become familiar with the campus climate and proactively participate in campus initiatives for engaging in conversation and action around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • The scope of responsibilities in University College is wide and extremely impactful on the student experience, so the new AVP will need to quickly become familiar with all aspects under their purview in order to develop a comprehensive list of priorities. On a quickly-moving campus such as Ball State, the new AVP will need to prioritize a great deal of time upon arrival for learning the nuances and priorities of the campus, discovering the internal needs of the staff and the department, and beginning the process of reaching out across the university to establish themselves as the expert on issues related to student success. A fast pace can be expected, with many entities wanting this person’s attention at the same time, so the AVP must be an effective multitasker and a diplomat at all times.
  • The associate vice provost must serve as the public “face” of University College, be visible on campus, and be able to engage other university entities in the student success environment. While it may be obvious within Academic Affairs that the AVP and surrounding staff serve students in a multitude of ways, the perception outside the division may not be as clear. It will be a prime objective of the new AVP to prioritize being “seen” on campus, attending student events when possible, collaborating across both academics and administration, and spending time outside the office in an effort to educate the campus on the benefits and services offered by this department. To accomplish this, the dean should have excellent communication skills and be able to articulate the University College “story” across the university. Because the role also requires close interaction with students, the ability to be empathetic, understanding, and clear in all student encounters is essential for success.
  • At Ball State University and its Division of Academic Affairs, change and growth are rapid and constant. The new AVP should expect to quickly learn the position and the division, develop operational and strategic plans, and swiftly begin implementation of these plans. With a number of new individuals in administration and a deep commitment to student success at every level, BSU is an institution on the move, and the new AVP must match that speed and energy at all times. Additionally, this position provides a unique opportunity for the new AVP to make their professional mark, to grow with a great deal of support, and be able to try some new and creative things along the way.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it unforeseen challenges in all facets of the University, forcing online learning, remote work environments, and many other personal and professional issues that were unheard of prior to the crisis. The new AVP will be expected to quickly familiarize themselves with the current situation across the BSU landscape, assess the current policies and procedures, and then use their expertise to take the lead in the department’s strategic response going forward. With the uncertainty of the upcoming spring 2021 semester, the AVP will need to devise strategies for an environment that will likely have only a limited student presence for the near future, but also project past the current climate with policies, procedures, and operations that are innovative and effective for University College beyond the current situation. The AVP should bring a fresh perspective, an entrepreneurial spirit, an adaptive mindset that is prepared for rapid change, and a collaborative approach to “move the needle” forward in overcoming COVID-19 at Ball State University.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining Ball State University, the items listed below will initially define success for the new associate vice provost:

  • Retention and persistence statistics are strong and rising.
  • The resources of University College (UC) are being increasingly utilized by the students, the individual units within the UC are strong and growing, and programming emanating from the UC is robust and frequent.
  • Faculty are fully engaged in the mission and goals of University College, and strong partnerships are being facilitated across all areas of Academic Affairs.
  • Predictive analytics and intentional data analysis are being used to strategically enhance the ongoing evolution of University College and student success.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are evident in all decisions, policies, and procedures emanating from University College.
  • The BSU stakeholders recognize the AVP as the “face” of University College and an “expert” on student success, the AVP is visible at student events, and collaborative partnerships have been formed across campus in support of student success initiatives.
  • The University College team is working together collaboratively, professional development is prevalent, the AVP meets and interacts with the staff of each unit regularly, the vision for the team is clear, and the staff view the AVP as the trusted leader of the department.
  • The AVP is engaged and enthusiastic, their goals and objectives are charted, the successes of the University College are communicated across campus, and the AVP is linking their progress to the greater University goals and mission.

Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate will possess a terminal degree or equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education, with progressive experience working with college students in an administrative capacity and knowledge of technology that supports student success, including predictive analytics, data analysis, and student-facing software. Additional requirements include a direct and comprehensive focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the university environment; strong oral and written communication skills; the ability to prioritize and manage multiple, simultaneous projects with attention to detail and adherence to deadlines; demonstrated ability to form collaborative relationships with other University offices; and experience with curriculum design, particularly core curriculum and first year seminars. Experience with innovative, engaging student success and retention initiatives in a higher education setting; proven knowledge of trends and best practices in higher education as they relate to student success, retention and support; the ability to effectively present and advocate data-driven decisions based on best practices; and a record of teaching, research, and professional accomplishments are highly preferred.

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:

  • a strong background in one or more of the areas of oversight, including strong student success and student development skills in support of a learning-based organization;
  • an understanding of curriculum and its role in student success;
  • strong and inspirational leadership skills, emotional intelligence, charisma, and a strategic vision, with the ability to build a coalition around a strong infrastructure and to push an agenda forward;
  • an excellent communicator with the ability to reach all levels of the university, especially in telling the “story” of student success and University College, to serve as the “face” of the division, and to advocate for the needs of the staff and departments at all times;
  • an innovator with a futuristic orientation, a strong sense of curiosity, and someone willing to try new opportunities, remain informed on new trends and best practices, and lead significant change processes as necessary;
  • knowledge of retention, with demonstrated excellence in creating initiatives around student retention;
  • a comprehensive commitment to student customer service in all areas of University College;
  • energy and passion for the job and the institution;
  • approachable and accessible to all students and staff;
  • commitment to promote and support the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion at all times;
  • ability to listen carefully, ask knowledgeable questions, learn the department and its intricacies, accept input from staff, and then make well-informed decisions;
  • organizational development skills that can be applied to a large and diverse organization;
  • a willingness to be visible on campus, to participate in the life of the campus, and to engage students and staff on all levels;
  • solid problem-solving skills;
  • a scholar practitioner who is deeply committed to best practices and cutting edge ideation;
  • a strategic and data-informed decision-maker, with strong assessment skills, who is also able to collect and analyze data and think fast on their feet when necessary;
  • an ardent supporter of students with the ability to relate to, engage, and connect with students, who has an understanding of the changing needs of today’s student body, and values the opinions of students;
  • demonstrated experience in embracing and utilizing new and innovative technology, including an understanding of the impact of social media;
  • a commitment to professional development in both themselves and the staff;
  • strong budgeting and finance skills, with the ability to be strategic in all budgetary decisions;
  • the ability to make difficult decisions when necessary, to conduct difficult conversations when pertinent, to listen to all sides of an issue, to build consensus, and to remain “cool under pressure” no matter the situation;
  • demonstrated ability to understand and connect with faculty, enhance the connection and partnership that exists between academics and University College, and communicate how University College supports the academic mission of the University;
  • politically savvy and tactful;
  • demonstrated experience in developing positive relationships with external partners and the greater community;
  • recognition of the 24/7 nature of the University and the need to be responsive to students’ needs on that cycle;
  • a positive, optimistic, and enthusiastic attitude, as well as the ability to have fun on the job;
  • ability to express empathy, humility, fairness, and equity at all times;
  • an interest in the specific needs of traditionally underserved student populations;
  • ability to review major processes, policies, and procedures in an effort to look for efficiencies and opportunities to combine, collaborate, share, develop, and/or discard functions and practices that are antiquated.

Overview of the Provost and Academic Affairs

The Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs oversees the academics of the University and is present to serve the faculty as well.

Academic Affairs Organizational and Leadership Chart

The office is responsible for assisting with the creation and implementation of the University’s strategic plan, immersive learning efforts, curriculum of the seven academic colleges, and a number of policy issues.


Susana Rivera-Mills, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Susana Rivera-Mills became provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Ball State University in July 2018. As provost, she oversees all aspects of BSU’s academic mission, including supporting leadership for all academic units. She plays a crucial role in the development and implementation of our strategic plan.

She brings extensive administrative experience, and her passion to connect universities to their communities, to Ball State. Rivera-Mills’ goal is to create a learning environment where all students can access a high-quality education and succeed in order to reach their full potential.

Before coming to Ball State, she served as vice provost for academic programs and learning innovation at Oregon State University. There, she served in other key positions including dean of undergraduate studies and was professor of Spanish linguistics and diversity advancement.

As a first-generation college student, Rivera-Mills understands the transformative power of education. She earned her bachelor’s in Spanish and a master’s in Spanish linguistics from the University of Iowa. Her doctorate is from the University of New Mexico. Rivera-Mills’ research focuses on Latino communities, Spanish language and culture, issues in sociolinguistics, as well as online teaching and learning.

Kecia McBride, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Kecia Driver McBride began her administrative career at Ball State as an assistant chair and chair of the Department of English, and then served for eight years as associate dean in the College of Sciences and Humanities. McBride became assistant provost in 2016, associate vice provost in 2017, and vice provost for academic affairs in 2018.

In her current role as vice provost, McBride is responsible for providing support and guidance for all processes and procedures associated with academic affairs at the University, with the exception of the Graduate School and Sponsored Programs and Grants. Her direct reports include the associate provost for faculty affairs and professional development, the associate provost for undergraduate education, and the interim dean of University College. Her office manages academic integrity and grade appeals, student complaints, faculty orientation and development, leadership and professional development, the curriculum review process, and the University Promotion and Tenure committee. McBride is the Academic Affairs representative to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the academic liaison officer to the Higher Learning Commission. She also oversees student evaluations of faculty teaching, International Programs and Study Abroad, Academic Systems, Immersive Learning, Academic Advising, the Learning Center, and the First Year Experience.

Institution & Location

Institutional Overview

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, and, 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 teacher’s 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 as 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.

Rankings, Awards, and Interesting Facts about BSU

  • Named #1 in the country in College Magazine’s “Top 10 Campuses for Students with Physical Disabilities.”
  • Ranked #1 in Indiana (53rd nationally) on 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. Ball State 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, Ball State was #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 percent of universities worldwide in 2019-2020, according to the Center for World University Rankings.
  • Received 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.
  • Received 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.
  • Ranked in the top 20 in the country for two graduate programs in S. News & World Report’s 2019 “Best Online Programs:” MBA and Nursing were 13th. 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 S. News & World Report’s 2019 “Best Online Programs for Veterans” at #12 in graduate education and #20 in bachelor’s degree programs.
  • Named a Military Friendly School since 2010 by veteran-owned Viqtory. In 2019, Viqtory also ranked BSU’s online programs #7 in the country.
  • Located in Muncie, Indiana, which 24/7 Wall St. listed among its “30 Best College Towns in America” in 2019.

About Muncie, IN

The Lenape Native Americans deemed the city Wapicamikunk, although early settlers referred to it as Munsee Town, named after the dialect of the Lenape Native Americas who spoke Munsee. The Muncie referred to today was born in 1865 when Munsee Town became the City of Muncie.

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

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

Emens Auditorium is Muncie’s go-to for entertainment. Emens boasts past entertainers in Third Eye Blind, David Letterman, and many more prestigious performers. Canan Commons is an urban park located in the heart of downtown, playing host to such events as the Three Trails Music Series, brown bag lunches, cultural events and outdoor films.

Minnetrista, the home of the Ball Jar and a gathering place with exhibits and programs that focus on nature, local history, gardens, and art, further emphasizes the Ball family’s impact on the Muncie community. Minnetrista opened in 1978 as a center to display local artifacts and the history of East Central Indiana, and it now features themed gardens and a nature area free to the public.

With a current population of 68,623, the city has been recognized in a number of ways, including the Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community award from the League of American Bicyclists, joining 374 visionary communities from across the country; the #1 Most Affordable College Town by; and the state’s Community of the Year award from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce on two separate occasions.

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. Opportunities for town/gown involvement exist, and the town and the University operate seamlessly together. According to these 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.


Ball State University engages students in educational, research, and creative endeavors that empower its graduates to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives enriched by lifelong learning and service, while enhancing the economic, environmental, and social vitality of the community, the state, and the world.


  • Excellence: We commit to excel in all that we do.
  • Innovation: We commit to be creative, responsive, and progressive.
  • Courage: We commit to set ambitious goals and to take the risks necessary to achieve those goals.
  • Integrity: We commit to be honest, ethical, authentic, and accessible.
  • Inclusiveness: 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.
  • Gratitude: 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.


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 directly 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.

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

Academic Programs and Faculty

Seven academic colleges (as well as the Honors College and the General Studies program in University College) provide innovative programs that give students access to professional experiences and advanced technology from day one:

Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning

  • Architecture
  • Construction Management and Interior Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban Planning

Miller College of Business

  • Accounting
  • Applied Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Information Systems and Operations Management
  • Marketing
  • Management

College of Communication, Information, and Media

  • Communication Studies
  • Journalism
  • Information and Communication Sciences
  • Telecommunications

College of Fine Arts

  • Art
  • Music
  • Theatre & Dance

College of Health

  • Counseling Psychology, Social Psychology and Counseling
  • Kinesiology
  • Military Science
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition and Health Sciences
  • Social Work
  • Speech Pathology and Audiology

College of Sciences and Humanities

  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • English
  • Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Modern Languages and Classics
  • Philosophy
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Political Science
  • Psychological Science
  • Sociology
  • Women’s and Gender Studies

Teachers College

  • Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies
  • Educational Leadership
  • Educational Psychology
  • Elementary Education
  • Educational Studies
  • Special Education

Honors College

Benefits Overview

  • Retirement plans
  • Tuition assistance and remission plans (employee and dependents)
  • 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

Review of applications will begin December 11, 2020, 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 J. Scott Derrick at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

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 protected status.