Geoffrey S. Mearns became the 17th president of Ball State University in May 2017. He came from Northern Kentucky University, where he had served as president for five years. During his tenure at NKU, President Mearns led the development of a new five-year strategic plan, which led to substantial increases in retention rates. Among his other accomplishments, President Mearns secured $97 million from the state to build a modern health innovation center, as well as an $8 million private gift to support simulation facilities in the center.
Before leading NKU, President Mearns served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Cleveland State University, where he led the most successful accreditation process in the institution’s history, and led a strong effort to improve retention rates. Before he became provost, President Mearns was dean and professor of law at the university’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
President Mearns also practiced law for more than 15 years, including serving as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice. He earned his undergraduate degree in English from Yale University. He earned a JD from the University of Virginia.
President Mearns and his wife, Jennifer, have five children.