MUNCIE – The president of Ball State University, the first woman to serve as president of a public university in Indiana, has announced she will retire next year.
The university announced in a news release issued Saturday that Jo Ann Gora told board of trustee members on Friday that she plans to retire in June.
“This year will be my 10th as president at Ball State but my 40th in higher education,” Gora said in a statement released by the university. “It has been a rewarding and fulfilling career, especially these years in Indiana.”
Board President Hollis Hughes praised Gora’s work as a president.
“Jo Ann Gora has taken Ball State to new levels of excellence and recognition during her presidency. There is no good time to say goodbye to such a leader, but the university is well positioned to continue to press forward in the course she has helped us set,” Hughes said.
The university underwent more than $520 million of facilities construction and renovation during the time she was president. That included a $70 million geothermal project that taps the earth’s nearly constant temperature for campus heating and cooling.
One of the more high-profile events was the naming of the David Letterman Communication and Media Building in 2007, a 75,000-square-foot building that includes studio and office space. The late night talk-show host attended the event and told attendees he barely graduated with a 2.0 grade point average.
“If I had any way of knowing this was going to happen, I would have studied much harder,” Letterman said then.
Ball State announced in 2011 that a capital campaign had raised $210.8 million.
Hughes said trustees have begun discussions about the search to identify successor for Gora and hopes to have a new president in place by July.
Gora was named Ball State’s 14th president in May 2004 and took office the following January. One of her first moves was to use the $150,000 it would have cost to hold a glitzy inauguration ceremony for student scholarships.
Before arriving in Muncie, Gora was chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Boston.