Paul Ferguson emphasizes excellence, leadership, education at Ball State

New Ball State President offers impressions, expectations at fall convocation.

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - Just 15 days on the job, new Ball State President Paul Ferguson finds the university and its family friendly and inviting besides a community engaged in higher education.

And the new president who is a scientist, scholar and educator demonstrated his strong commitment to undergraduate education excellence talking about his vision for continuing some of Ball State's strongest programs immersive learning, architecture and design, science, and of course teaching.

The Friday fall convocation before semester begins next week was different with a new president instead of a leader talking about the State of the University.

Ferguson said that would come later, but he talked about his experience besides his impression of the university and community besides his vision for the future.

The new president grew up in California and earned an undergraduate in biology, later graduate work in pharmacology and then went from educator to on to administrator. Ferguson worked in seven institutions throughout five states and was last president of the University of Maine.

He and his wife, Grace, have already attended lunches, dinners and other gatherings meeting university and community leaders.

 Those visits gave Ferguson of a university family working together and a community wanting t be engaged in higher education.

 Ferguson applauded Ball State officials for "good strong management" and being accountable to reduce energy and other related expenses to reduce student tuitition by $2,600 in the last few years.

Being accountable is as important as excelling in education, Ferguson said, as he talked about different Ball State programs ranging from immersive learning to Building Better Communities.

The day before, the new president met with 3,600 new freshman entering Ball State next week, introducing them as his centennial class.

Ferguson told students that they could compete with the best of college graduates, explaining Ball State was on the same level as Indiana and Purdue.

That commitment to education that Ferguson repeated talked about defining teaching as a moral vocation.

"This is the model of the 21st Century university that provide excellence, leadership and community to the people," he said.

Ball State is predicting record enrollment and also had some big projects on the horizon like a new hotel and convention property on McKinley Avenue and a new science building replacing Cooper Science built in the 1960s.



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