Ball State University trustees today selected Paul Ferguson, who is currently the president of the University of Maine, to become the university’s 15th president.
After his education in California where he was born and raised and before his career in education, Ferguson spent time as a research biologist and toxicologist. He has a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology.
“We are coming to join your family,” Ferguson said after the announcement. “Your issues are our issues, your concerns are our issues, our house is your house.”
Ferguson says Ball State’s much advertised immersive learning opportunities are important, but so is the university’s classification as a research institution and the amount of research funding the university is attracting. He also wants to make sure that Ball State is providing an education that fits what Indiana and the nation needs of its future workforce.
“Not only are you creating enlightened citizenry to be better problem-solvers, be better citizens, but there is that economic development component that is not just technology incubators, but it’s workforce development,” he says. “And what role does Ball State University play in designing the academic programs, revising academic programs, to meet the needs of Indiana?”
Board of Trustees president Rick Hall says Ball State is in great shape after the decade-long leadership of outgoing president Dr. Jo Ann Gora. That’s why, Hall says, Ferguson was hired to be an evolutionary figure, not a revolutionary one.