MUNCIE, Ind. — President Jo Ann Gora informed the Board of Trustees yesterday that she will retire from her position as president of Ball State University at the end of June, 2014.
“This year will be my tenth as president at Ball State but my fortieth in higher education,” Gora said. “It has been a rewarding and fulfilling career, especially these years in Indiana.”
Board president Hollis Hughes expressed the trustees’ deep gratitude for Gora’s leadership of the university over the past decade. “Jo Ann Gora has taken Ball State to new levels of excellence and recognition during her presidency. There is no good time to say goodbye to such a leader, but the university is well positioned to continue to press forward in the course she has helped us set.”
Gora arrived as the fourteenth president of Ball State in 2004, becoming the first woman to serve as president of a public university in Indiana. She had previously been chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, Boston and as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Old Dominion University. During her tenure at Ball State she oversaw two long-range strategic planning processes. In this time the university raised more philanthropic funds than in the history of the institution. More than $520 million of facilities construction and renovation was completed or undertaken during her presidency, dramatically transforming the campus. The innovative geothermal project, the nation’s largest ground-source, closed-loop district geothermal energy system, will reduce the university’s carbon footprint by nearly half and have a lasting impact on both the environment and campus’ culture. At the same time, admissions standards were raised significantly, and numerous academic programs achieved national rankings and recognition.
“What sets Ball State apart,” said Gora, “is the level of collaboration and commitment of our faculty, staff, and students. We truly have redefined higher education through our focus on immersive learning, an approach to education that clearly puts our students at the center. I will miss working with such dedicated and creative faculty and staff and interacting with so many hardworking and talented students.”
Board president Hughes indicated that the trustees have begun discussions about the search to identify Gora’s successor. “Dr. Gora has taken Ball State far and leaves the university headed in the right direction. We are confident that the position will attract a strong group of candidates and that the next president will provide continuity by building on that momentum. We hope to have our next leader in place by July of next year.”