Ball State is interested in assuming this new responsibility because it provides an opportunity to repay our obligation to a generous community that founded and supports us. It is consistent with our values, as expressed by our Beneficence Pledge.

And Ball State’s future is intertwined with the future of a vibrant Muncie, which is dependent on the quality of its public schools. It is not a responsibility we take lightly and fully realize that success isn’t guaranteed. But major challenges require creative and bold solutions. We are Muncie’s largest asset and believe we’re bringing forward a solution to this major challenge.

No, Ball State will not receive any compensation for assuming this new responsibility. We are asking that the funds allocated to the emergency manager be provided directly to Muncie Community Schools to help in this effort.

Ball State already runs the K-12 Burris Laboratory School and, while it’s not identical to Muncie Community Schools, the experience is comparable and we will bring that experience to bear.

Collaboration is the key to success in this effort. The newly-appointed school board will assume responsibility for MCS on July 1, 2018 and the board will have two years to develop a plan. This will allow for a great deal of collaboration with students, families, teachers, administrators, local leaders and others to help us develop the best possible plan. We are at the very beginning of the process.

Ball State is fully aware that success is not guaranteed, and that success will require extensive community input and support as well as patience and persistence. But education is at the heart of Ball State and assuming this new responsibility is consistent with our mission. We prepare teachers and develop and disseminate innovative academic practices and programs. We already have deep relationships with MCS and can mobilize our campus in innovative ways. Ball State can also mobilize and coordinate a comprehensive community approach. The immediate proximity of Ball State to Muncie will yield numerous opportunities, as will the unique history between Ball State, MCS and the Muncie community. No other approach offers better prospects for long-term success.

An appointed board is not unique in Indiana, as other districts in our state have them. Ball State will approach its appointments by focusing on individuals that bring unique and powerful experience, expertise and merit.

While Ball State serves as the “authorizer” of some charter schools, it does not govern or manage them. Ball State does manage two public schools – Burris and the Indiana Academy. Burris currently has a “B” grade. Similarly, Ball State will be managing MCS.

Ball State has a long-standing relationship with MCS. Our Schools Within the Context of Community program is deeply embedded in some MCS schools. BSU’s faculty, staff and administrators regularly consult with MCS on a variety of issues. Many BSU graduates teach in MCS schools. Assuming responsibility for MCS doesn’t distract but rather adds to the BSU mission. We are called by the Beneficence Pledge to be socially responsible and value the intrinsic worth of each member of the community. And we were founded through the generosity of the Muncie community 100 years ago. Now, in its Centennial year, Ball State has the opportunity to repay the debt in a spectacular, exciting way. It won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. But this is a journey worthy of a great community and a great university.

We are in conversations with all of them. Our campus community is passionate about Muncie and that permeates across campus and among alumni. Ball State faculty, staff, students and alumni have been supporting Muncie Community Schools for decades. Their expertise as stellar educators and administrators will be critical to the success of this proposed responsibility. They will be deeply involved in developing the plan moving forward.

Ball State will be collaborative and draw on its extensive knowledge of education. There are many talented and committed people in the MCS and in Muncie, and we will enlist their support. Ball State University is uniquely qualified to assume this responsibility. It’s an extension of our existing engagement with MCS and the Muncie community at a much deeper level. And this new responsibility is consistent with our mission of preparing teachers; developing and disseminating innovative academic practices; preparing and inspiring students to lead meaningful lives; improving the quality of life for the residents of Delaware County.

The Ball State Board of Trustees must first approve having the University assume this new responsibility. The newly-appointed school board takes over effective July 1, 2018. Then the newly-appointed board will take the next two years to develop a plan. To do that, we will work collaboratively with all stakeholders – including students, parents, teachers, Ball State faculty, staff and alumni, community businesses and organizations.

The process calls for a two year window to develop a plan. Part of that plan development is assessing the experience and expertise of the current administration.

The resources allocated to this new responsibility will be the expertise of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and University leadership. We will also leverage other relationships we have throughout the Muncie community and beyond.

While other universities have to varying degrees been involved with K-12 schools, Ball State is the first public university to assume responsibility at this level. But it’s important to remember that we are already deeply involved with MCS. This is a deepening of that relationship, not a brand new idea.

Questions or Comments?

We welcome questions from members of the community.