Ball State creates new position focusing on economic development

Topics: Building Better Communities, Immersive Learning

October 26, 2007

Frank Sabatine
Frank Sabatine has been appointed to the newly created position of associate vice president of economic development and community engagement at Ball State University, where he will spearhead campus-wide efforts to improve the state's economy.

Sabatine, dean of the School of Extended Education and formerly the university's acting provost of academic affairs, also will be responsible for Ball State's Building Better Communities (BBC) initiative.

Organized in 2003, BBC spurs economic development and quality-of-life advancement in Indiana by extending Ball State's strengths in applied research and hands-on learning to community projects across the state.

"Ball State has promoted economic and community development throughout Indiana for the last 30 years," Sabatine said. "We have the resources and the drive to ramp up our efforts, becoming even more active in assisting the state of Indiana's transition from a manufacturing-based economy to one that can prosper in the technology-centered 21st century."

As part of the university's strategic plan, Ball State students and faculty are playing a large role in these efforts through immersive learning opportunities, Sabatine added.

"Such programs as Building Better Communities have been incredibly successful, and we see additional opportunities to align our expertise in a variety of fields to meet the needs of communities all around the Hoosier state," he said.

Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora said Sabatine's extensive background in economic development made him the best person to direct the university's ongoing contributions to local governments, businesses and economic development groups.

During his career, Sabatine has served as governor's liaison to the Community College of Indiana, the commissioner of the Indiana State Board of Tax Commissioners and the business development director of the Indiana Department of Commerce.

"With initiatives like our immersive Business and Health Fellows programs and the continuation of our many efforts at building better communities throughout Indiana, the university enjoys a key role in helping secure both the economic and social well-being of the Hoosier State," Gora said. "Frank Sabatine's long experience and many professional associations in the areas of economic development and community engagement will only strengthen those many community ties, while allowing us to better communicate our successes to a variety of important audiences in both government and business."

Sabatine began his academic career as an associate professor at Illinois Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. He also served as the director of the Employee Development Institute at Triton Community College in River Grove, Ill.

In 2000, Sabatine was recognized for his work in state government when he was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana's highest civilian honor. He also has received the National Association of Community Leadership's Distinguished Leadership Award and the National University Continuing Education Association's Excellent Program and Information Delivery Awards.

He received bachelor's and master's degrees from C.W. Post College of Long Island University and a doctorate from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  

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