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Improving the University Community's Quality of Life

Visitors to Ball State often comment on the beautiful campus and welcoming university environment. Planned renovations and programs will add to the overall vibrancy of the university, creating centers of activity and relaxation throughout the campus.

Here are some examples that highlight our outcome measures from the Strategic Plan 2007-2012.

New Residence Hall to Open in 2010

Similar in design to Park Hall, which opened this fall, North Hall will provide housing for nearly 600 students. With a projected budget of $46.5 million, the hall will be located on Neely Avenue, north of Studebaker West, and will include double rooms with shared bathrooms, open lounges, and other areas to create a sense of community for students. Construction is slated to begin in summer 2008 with completion in 2010.

Goal 4, Objective E: By 2010, construct two new residence halls.

Learning Communities Link StudentsLearning Communities Link Students

Research shows that students who live with other students with similar interests are more satisfied and successful. Ball State groups together honors students as well as those majoring in nursing, business, telecommunications, and other areas on floors or in sets of suites in the same residence hall. Operating as living-learning communities, the groups of students also have informal field trips, discussion groups, and academic support sessions. Approximately 1,500 students are currently living in these academic clusters.

Goal 4, Objective F: By 2012, double the number of students who participate in enhanced learning-living community opportunities that are academically based and theme connected.

Smoke-Free Ball State

Acting on the recommendations of Ball State students, faculty, and staff, in December 2007 the Board of Trustees approved a proposal prohibiting smoking in all university buildings and outdoor campus areas, beginning March 17, 2008. The decision came after much discussion among students, faculty, and staff and voting by campus constituency groups in support of a smoke-free campus.

Goal 4, Objective A: Engage the campus community in a comprehensive discussion about conversion to a tobacco-free campus.

Renovations Add to a Vibrant Campus

Recently completed and planned campus renovation projects encourage Ball State students to work out, hang out, and cheer on the Cardinals, creating a vibrant campus.

  • Rendering of Proposed Recreation FacilityStudent Recreation and Wellness Facility: The planned $40 million, 200,000-square-foot renovations to the recreation facilities illustrate Ball State’s commitment to wellness. Additions will include a climbing wall, a recreational running track, and central air-conditioning throughout.
  • L. A. Pittenger Student Center: Scheduled to begin in early 2008, renovations to the student center will include a new north entrance lobby, open-concept dining and multipurpose spaces, improved student office spaces, along with general replacement and repair of the structure, electrical, and mechanical systems, and interior upgrades. The projected cost is $22.9 million.
  • Scheumann StadiumScheumann Stadium: Completed in August 2007 at a cost of $13.7 million, the renovations to the stadium added club seating, entertainment suites, and family-style seating, as well as a synthetic turf similar to many NFL stadiums. One of the most noticeable changes is the addition of the four-level Paul and Pat Kozel Media Center, which provides attractive, new accommodations for media and fans and guests of the university.

Goal 4, Objective E: By 2012, complete construction of recreation and wellness facility; by 2009, complete major renewal of L. A. Pittenger Student Center; and by 2007, upgrade football stadium in 2007.

Redeveloping Riverside Avenue

Research shows that Greek life gives students a sense of belonging. In fact, students who participate in fraternities and sororities are about 10 percent more likely to return and graduate than other students. So as Ball State revamps the student housing experience and works to expand the number of Greek students and chapters, it is exploring ideas about how to blend the revitalization of Riverside Avenue with the idea of a Greek village.

The area would replace a sundry collection of houses and residence hall spaces with a living-and-learning complex. With shared green space and a common building, students would find services in a convenient location.

Goal 4, Objective F: By 2007, complete a plan for redeveloping Riverside Avenue and strengthening Greek life.

Supporting a Diverse Society

The Diversity Associates Program is all about preparing society to enjoy diversity, says Charles Payne, assistant provost of diversity and director of the Office of Institutional Diversity.

“Look at who’s in kindergarten,” Payne says, referring to the growing minority groups in the United States. “We know these kids are coming. At the university level, it is our obligation to expose our students to cultural differences, so they can serve a diverse population.”

The program provides grants to staff and faculty members for diversity-oriented projects. These awards are given for new ways to challenge cultural barriers, such as a recent anthropology project that got inmates at a Michigan prison discussing books written from different world views.

In addition, creating an environment for hiring and retaining a diverse faculty was the theme of two days of workshops for deans, department chairs, and senior administrators. Nationally acclaimed diversity expert Joann Moody led the sessions on campus, and she will continue to work with the Office of the Provost in the upcoming months to establish and enhance other initiatives.

Goal 4, Objective D: Increase diversity of student, faculty, and staff populations and enhance the climate supporting diversity.