Board President Tom DeWeese retires, Hollis E. Hughes Jr. chosen his successor

Topic: Administrative

December 17, 2010

deweese.jpg
With assistance from his wife, Marilyn, and Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora, outgoing Board of Trustees President Tom DeWeese unveils the plaque for the renaming of the Alumni Center Conservatory in his honor.

The new year will begin with new board leadership at Ball State.

After 15 years as president of the university's Board of Trustees, Thomas L. DeWeese will step down effective Dec. 31. His retirement was announced during the board's regularly scheduled Dec. 17 meeting, at which the remaining members voted in favor of installing current board secretary Hollis E. Hughes Jr. in the president's post.

DeWeese, who received his bachelor's degree in business from Ball State in 1968 and his MBA from the university the following year, first joined the board in January 1987, having been nominated unanimously by the Alumni Council to be the Alumni Association's representative. He was appointed to the body by then-Indiana Gov. Robert D. Orr and has served continuously since that time, a measure of dedication exceeded only by his time as a member of the Alumni Council, which he joined on Jan. 1, 1977, making him its longest-serving alumnus.

Some of the most dramatic change in the university's history, in terms of both academic programs and physical alteration of the campus, has taken place during DeWeese's tenure, including the formation of the College of Fine Arts and the College of Communication, Information and Media, as well as the establishment of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities — the state's only residential academic program for high-achieving high school students.

Upwards of 30 buildings and other campus facilities also have been constructed or undergone major renovation during DeWeese's incumbency at Ball State, among them the Alumni Center, Ball Honors House, the David Letterman Communication and Media Building, Worthen Arena, the Music Instruction Building and Sursa Hall, Scheumann Stadium — including the addition of the Fisher Football Training Complex — Shafer Tower, the DeHority, Woodworth, and Studebaker complexes and, most recently, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass.

A close confidant and advisor to four Ball State presidents — two of whom, including current President Jo Ann M. Gora, were chosen by search committees upon which he served — DeWeese also has been a key figure in five major fundraising campaigns that have generated more than $370 million in contributions to Ball State.

In recognition of his many efforts and accomplishments on behalf of the university, the board members approved a resolution declaring that the conservatory of the Alumni Center be named in honor of DeWeese and that he be awarded the President's Medal of Distinction at winter Commencement on Dec. 18.

"For nearly a quarter-century, Tom DeWeese epitomized the hallmarks of a conscientious and committed board member, and the strides the university has made in raising admissions standards, increasing scholarships, funding other university priorities and developing our campus trace in so many ways to his outstanding leadership. He certainly will be missed," said Gora.

The full text of the resolution saluting DeWeese has been posted online.

Substance and skill

In addition to selecting Hughes as their new president, the board members approved a new slate of officers effective Jan. 1, 2011. It includes current assistant secretary Richard Hall, '89, advancing to fill Hughes' previous seat as secretary, and one-time Muncie schoolteacher Barbara Phillips, '52, MA '63, who is now chief learning officer of Gaylor Inc. in Carmel, Ind., becoming assistant secretary.Frank A. Bracken will continue to serve the board in his current position as vice president.

Similar to DeWeese, Hughes, '65, MA '72, joined the board as the nominee of the Alumni Council — of which he is a past president — in 1989. He has held the post of board secretary since 2006.

Formerly a social studies teacher and athletic coach for South Bend Community Schools, Hughes also is a past director of the city of South Bend's Model Cities Program, responsible for planning, coordinating and allocating the Department of Housing and Urban Development's resources to local government agencies, organizations and citizen groups in the program. He later was appointed director of the bureau of housing in South Bend before moving on to serve as director of the St. Joseph County Housing Allowance Office, the Housing Assistance Office Inc. and executive director of the St. Joseph County Housing Authority.

In 1994, he became president and CEO of United Way of St. Joseph County Inc. He retired from that post in 2007 and continues to reside in South Bend.

"Like the institution it represents, the Board of Trustees is multifaceted, bringing a variety of perspectives and talents to the service of the university," Gora added. "We are, indeed, very fortunate that individuals of the substance and skill of Hollis Hughes, Frank Bracken, Rick Hall, Barbara Phillips and in fact all of our board members, continue to lend their wise counsel and considerable energies to furthering our strategic plan and raising Ball State to new levels of greatness. I look forward to that ongoing work as we welcome the new year and a new era of board governance."

Additional business

In other action, the board approved increasing fees for the university's Intensive English Institute (IEI) by $200, from $3,520 to $3,720, for spring semester 2011.

Some international students recruited to Ball State by the Rinker Center for International Programs are required to attend IEI in order to improve their English proficiency prior to enrolling in the university, explained Randall Howard, vice president for business affairs and treasurer. He noted, as well, that the university's international student enrollment initiative has been underway for slightly more than a year and that the number of participants in the IEI program has increased.

Howard said it was determined that fees charged to IEI students should be increased "to better reflect our actual experience with the program, which features very small class sizes and requires quality instructors who can lead students to improved understanding and use of English in such a short amount of time."

The board also was presented with the university's annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, as certified by the Indiana State Board of Accounts in November.

Howard said that the yearly financial statements continue to demonstrate the university's effective stewardship of the resources with which it has been entrusted by earning an unqualified or clean opinion from the Board of Accounts.

Still, Howard cautioned that Ball State, like other public institutions in Indiana, has not been spared from the effects of the recent national and statewide financial crises. And even though numerous initiatives to cut costs and increase revenue have been put in place during the past two years, significant challenges remain..

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