Ball State is embracing an historic opportunity to change the trajectory of MCS. We are 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.

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 we 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 long-term solution for MCS.

An appointed MCS board will assume responsibility on July 1, 2018. The new board will consist of seven members who will serve staggered terms. Five will be appointed by Ball State from the applications submitted to us. Two will be appointed from nominations provided by the Muncie mayor and Muncie City Council, respectively.

No, Ball State will not receive any compensation for assuming this new responsibility. We are asking that any funds that would have been allocated to the emergency manager be provided directly to Muncie Community Schools to help in this effort. In fact, Ball State is encouraging philanthropic support from individuals and organizations to support MCS and enhance the economic and civic vitality of our region.

Muncie Community Schools will no longer be labeled as “distressed.” In addition, a no-interest loan approved by the General Assembly will allow MCS to fulfill its legal obligation to bond holders and make the facility improvements consistent with the bond’s original purpose.

The MCS board will adopt a resolution on this issue after July 1. Consistent with other public school boards across Indiana, board members can be paid $112 per meeting or up to $2,000 a year. We will encourage school board members to donate any compensation they receive to the Muncie Community Schools. In addition, all MCS board members must comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy Regarding Appointments to the Governing Body of Muncie Community Schools (PDF).

The new school board will spend the next two years creating a long-term plan for Muncie Community Schools. The first year will be spent engaging with the community. The plan that is implemented will help Muncie and MCS thrive, not merely survive.

Our goal is a diverse and complementary team that reflects the diverse perspectives of the community.

The minimum qualifications for board members are:

  • 21 years old
  • United States citizen
  • high school graduate or GED; postsecondary educational degree preferred
  • residency within the Muncie Community Schools district highly preferred
  • cannot be a Ball State University Trustee or the Ball State University President
  • cannot be an immediate family member of a Ball State University Trustee or an immediate family member of the Ball State University President
  • cannot be or have an immediate family member employed by the Muncie Community Schools district
  • the appointment must comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy Regarding Appointments to the Governing Body of Muncie Community Schools (PDF) adopted by the Ball State University Board of Trustees on May 16, 2018

Important skills and attributes include:

  • passion for public education and Muncie Community Schools
  • record of civic engagement and community participation
  • experience in fiscal management or oversight
  • experience in operational management or oversight
  • experience in team effectiveness
  • demonstrated leadership

All applications must be received or postmarked by June 1. We will have a community forum on June 12 in connection with the selection process. All MCS board members must comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy Regarding Appointments to the Governing Body of Muncie Community Schools (PDF).

Board members will be provided a thorough orientation on the role and responsibilities of an Indiana school board. They will learn about MCS’ demographics, finances, challenges, assets, and opportunities. They will become intimately familiar with the MCS system and how it works.

By June 30, 2020, the MCS board must present a long-term plan on fiscal viability and academic innovation to the Distressed Unit Appeal Board (DUAB), the Superintendent for Public Instruction, and the Commissioner for Higher Education. By October 31, 2021, the new MCS board must provide annual progress reports to those three entities. This is consistent with other appointed school boards, and the annual reports are public documents. In addition, all MCS board members must comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy Regarding Appointments to the Governing Body of Muncie Community Schools (PDF).

We value and respect the MCS teachers and staff. We look forward to meeting with teachers and staff in their schools to listen and learn before the end of the academic year. After that, we will consistently be engaged with them to understand the positive things happening within MCS and the challenges they face, and together, we will develop solutions.

We are committed to the MCS teachers and staff. We recognize their dedication to the children. MCS teachers and staff will be the first to benefit from the collaboration. As part of the philanthropic support for MCS, the University will direct $50,000 to fund classroom supplies for MCS educators to use in their classrooms.

In addition, MCS employees, including teachers, will receive a scholarship to enroll in programs at Ball State. These scholarships will be a 50 percent tuition reduction for up to 6 credit hours a year per employee. MCS employees will also receive preferred pricing for season tickets to Ball State athletics and entertainment events.

The resources allocated to this new responsibility will be the expertise of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and University leadership, and a senior Ball State administrator will serve as primary liaison to MCS. We will also leverage other relationships we have throughout the Muncie community and beyond.

The funds that would have gone to an emergency manager will go directly to MCS (not the University), and a no-interest loan approved by the General Assembly will allow MCS to fulfill its legal obligation to bond holders and use those funds to improve facilities as originally intended.

This partnership has encourage philanthropic support from individuals and organizations eager to enhance the economic and civic vitality of our region. We are grateful to institutions that have made generous financial commitments to MCS.

The no-interest loan approved by the General Assembly will allow MCS to fulfill its legal obligation to bond holders, use a portion of those funds to improve facilities as originally intended, and help the district address its debt.

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. This is an historic opportunity. We are already deeply involved with MCS. This is a deepening of that relationship.

Collaboration is the key to success in this effort. We are now seeking candidates for the new MCS school board.

The minimum qualifications for board members are:

  • 21 years old
  • United States citizen
  • high school graduate or GED; postsecondary educational degree preferred
  • residency within the Muncie Community Schools district highly preferred
  • cannot be a Ball State University Trustee or the Ball State University President
  • cannot be an immediate family member of a Ball State University Trustee or an immediate family member of the Ball State University President
  • cannot be or have an immediate family member employed by the Muncie Community Schools district
  • the appointment must comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy Regarding Appointments to the Governing Body of Muncie Community Schools (PDF) adopted by the Ball State University Board of Trustees on May 16, 2018

Important skills and attributes include:

  • passion for public education and Muncie Community Schools
  • record of civic engagement and community participation
  • experience in fiscal management or oversight
  • experience in operational management or oversight
  • experience in team effectiveness
  • demonstrated leadership

We will have a community forum on June 12 in connection with the selection process. Our goal is a diverse and complementary team that reflects the diverse perspectives of the community.

The newly-appointed school board will assume responsibility for MCS on July 1, 2018. The board will have two years to develop a long-term plan, with the first year devoted to listening to the community. 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 and provide an exceptional educational experience for all of the children of Muncie. We are at the very beginning of the process.

In addition, we are forming a Community Engagement Council. This council will include community members who will volunteer to help MCS thrive again.

On July 1, 2018, the responsibility for MCS will shift from an emergency manager with a short-term mandate to an anchor institution in Muncie with a long-term interest in our community and our public schools.

This new partnership is already making an impact. We are grateful to institutions that have made generous financial commitments to MCS.

In addition, we will build on current partnerships such as immersive learning experiences and professional development liaisons, and we will mobilize our faculty, staff, and students in new and innovative ways. Our faculty and staff will deepen our partnership with the MCS faculty and staff.

Beginning July 1, the current emergency managers, Administrator Assistance, will be working through a 60-day transition period as provided in their current contract with the Distressed Unit Appeal Board. Administrator Assistance has indicated that the financial plan, which will be presented to the newly appointed school board for the next school year, anticipates that the salaries and benefits next year for all returning MCS employees will be the same as this current year.

We will deploy a volunteer corps and form a Community Engagement Council and Education Expert Panel. School improvement planning teams will be established, and they will collect data and develop a monitoring system to ensure progress.

This partnership will provide the stability MCS students, parents, faculty and staff, and the Muncie community need and deserve.