Ball State University’s trustees announce Geoffrey Mearns as new president

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MUNCIE, Ind. — Ball State University’s trustees selected Geoffrey Mearns to become the 17th president.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously on the new hire during a Tuesday afternoon meeting on the Muncie campus.

Provost Terry King had been Ball State’s acting president since former President Paul Ferguson resigned in January 2016 after holding the position for just 17 months.

“Geoff Mearns is exactly the leader Ball State needs to move us boldly into the next 100 years,” said Board Chair Rick Hall. “His prior experience and knowledge of higher education will enable him to partner with our faculty, staff, and administration to provide Ball State students with a life-changing education.”

Mearns comes to Ball State after spending more than four years as the president of Northern Kentucky University. There, he led an advocacy campaign to garner additional state support for the university, in an effort to address a historic funding disparity. The multiyear educational efforts resulted in an additional $5.1 million in funding for the university.

Mearns says one of his first tasks will be to meet with deans and faculty members, students and staff, alumni and donors in an effort to hear firsthand about the many new initiatives currently underway and to learn more about what he can do to strengthen those efforts and further grow the support for, and engagement with, the university.

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