Goal 3: Collaborating with Community Partners

Ball State plays a key role in supporting Indiana’s growth and economic development. In the second year of the strategic plan, we continue to create initiatives that provide faculty and student expertise, targeted research, and innovative programs to big cities and small towns across the state.

Here are some examples that highlight our progress on the objectives for Goal 3 from the strategic plan.

Fueling Indiana’s Economy

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 Our $17.7 million Emerging Media Initiative, announced in December 2008, focuses the university’s historic strengths in this area, accelerating benefits to the state of Indiana by developing media-savvy human capital.

Funded through combined institutional and new private resources, the initiative gives our students access to innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities in emerging media across the curriculum. Our growing emphasis on new ideas, technology transfer, and commercialization provides the support faculty members need to bring their ideas to market. The Randy Pond Emerging Media Scholars program, created through a $1 million grant from Pond, an alumnus and executive vice president of Cisco Systems, to theBall State Bold: Investing the Future capital campaign, encourages more student involvement in emerging media by helping to recruit talented students.

Goal 3, Objective A: Create a plan to stimulate growth of emerging media business clusters in Indiana.

Working for Indiana’s Communities

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Our Building Better Communities initiative connects community partners across Indiana with Ball State’s expertise and resources to help solve local problems. Student-driven teams work with communities, businesses, and government agencies to develop real-world solutions to real-world problems, resulting in stronger businesses, improved communities, and more efficient government.

During the 2007-08 academic year, students, faculty, and staff completed about 170 projects and programs in nearly 70 counties across Indiana—putting their expertise into action for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Indiana Foodways Alliance, and the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. 

Goal 3, Objective C: Grow Building Better Communities projects and programs by 10 percent annually.

Identifying Legislative Priorities

Months after receiving a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the Bowen Center for Public Affairs conducted a major public policy survey, the Hoosier Poll 2008, asking Hoosiers to identify their priorities for state lawmakers. Topping the list were creating new jobs, making government run more efficiently, providing more affordable health care, and improving local schools. The results received extensive coverage from media outlets in Indiana and across the region, helping to further the center’s reputation as a source for reliable, nonpartisan research.

Goal 3, Objective B: By 2008, fully establish Bowen Center for Public Affairs and support with $1.15 million in external funds.

Overseeing Charter Schools

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From its founding as a normal school in 1918, Ball State has been dedicated to making high-quality, innovative educational programs available to students. This belief is reflected in the university’s decision to become the only institution of higher education in Indiana to sponsor charter schools. In the 2007-08 academic year, Ball State authorized 35 charter schools, which served nearly 6,400 students. By 2012, the university plans to sponsor 50 schools, enrolling 10,000 students.

Ball State-sponsored schools are ahead of other charter schools in Indiana in meeting the No Child Left Behind Act Adequate Yearly Progress standards. In the 2007-08 school year, 47 percent of schools made adequate progress, compared with 44 percent of charter schools sponsored by other entities.

Goal 3, Objective D: Lead Indiana in authorizing charter schools and be the premier resource supporting the success of all charter schools.