Jo Ann M. Gora became Ball State's 14th president in 2004. She has led the development and implementation of the University's Education Redefined strategic plan, the cornerstone of which is making immersive learning opportunities available to every student. In the first four years of strategic plan implementation, more than 12,000 students completed more than 750 immersive learning projects in 70 Indiana counties under the mentoring of faculty from every academic department.
She also led the University's Ball State Bold capital campaign, which supported the strategic plan's implementation and topped its $200 million goal by more than $10 million. President Gora has received the Mira Trailblazer Award from TechPoint for her significant and lasting contributions to technology innovation in Indiana, and was one of the 12 charter signatories to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2006. In March, Ball State dedicates Phase One of its geothermal district energy system, the largest of its kind in the United States.
President Gora has spent 30 years in higher education administration. She came to Ball State from the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she was named chancellor in August 2001. She also served for nine years as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
President Gora earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Vassar College and master's and doctoral degrees in sociology from Rutgers University. She has published two books, The New Female Criminal: Empirical Reality or Social Myth? And Emergency Squad Volunteers: Professionalism in Unpaid Work. Dr. Gora is married to Roy Budd, who works in the area of workforce and economic development. She has one son, Jesse, and one stepdaughter, Tiffany.
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