Topic: Administrative

January 10, 2014

The Ball State University Board of Trustees Friday elected Rick Hall as chair, Frank Hancock as vice-chair, Thomas C. Bracken as secretary, Marianne Glick as assistant secretary, and Randy Howard as treasurer. The slate of officers serves a two-year term. With passage of new bylaws, noted below, the titles of president and vice president were replaced with titles of chair and vice chair.

"I am honored to be entrusted with this responsibility, " said Hall. "As an alumnus, I have benefited personally and professionally form my Ball State education. I am so proud that Ball State provides an incredible educational experience for the citizens of Indiana with such remarkable efficiency. I look forward to helping the university continue to advance."

Hall had served as secretary of the board since 2011. He joined the board in 2007 and previously was assistant secretary.

Hall is a partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where he practices in the areas of governmental services and finance. He represents counties, cities, towns, and school corporations as they finance local infrastructure projects, and is chair of the firm's Economic Development Practice Group. Earlier in his career he served as a law clerk to Judge Michael Kanne of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and worked for U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar.

Hall earned his bachelor’s degree at Ball State in 1989, where he earned four letters playing basketball and was the Cardinals captain in his senior year. He earned his law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law.

Hollis E. Hughes Jr. served as president of the board for three years. "I want to thank my colleagues for the opportunity of a lifetime," said Hughes. "I have truly enjoyed working with my fellow trustees. I have not met such a positive driving force as President Gora or a group as truly impressive as the cabinet that she has assembled. Our students are true scholars, our faculty is outstanding, and our staff members are talented and hardworking. It has been my honor to serve my alma mater."

In other business, the board approved an increase in room and board rates at an average of 3.9 percent, with no increase to students already on the university’s premium plan. More than half of students take advantage of the premium plan. Rates for incoming freshmen next fall will be 4.9 percent higher than they were for freshman in 2013-14.

"We’ve done all we can to control costs and keep rates as low as possible," said Randy Howard, vice president for business affairs and treasurer, noting that the university has implemented very low increases in the past several years. " Even with this proposed increase, our rates are lower than our competitors, and we believe we offer much higher quality and value than our peers."

For the past five years, Ball State’s room and board rates have increased about 3 percent annually. Even with multiple measures to control costs, the increases are needed to cover costs that are increasing nationwide, such as those for food and utilities.

Also, the board approved updates to its bylaws. Changes include new titles for officers of the board, the establishment of standing committees and incorporation of procedures for electronic communications for board meetings.