Ball State University has chosen the current president of Northern Kentucky University to be the Muncie school’s next leader.
Geoff Mearns was appointed the 17th president of the university that celebrates its centennial year in 2018.
After an education at Yale and University of Virginia law school, Mearns worked in law and then as a university administrator at Cleveland State. He is the current president of Northern Kentucky University, serving four years in that position. Mearns says he believes in a “student first” philosophy and says “inclusion” is one of his personal commitments.
“This is an increasingly dynamic and interconnected world, so students need to have in the classroom and on campus the opportunities to learn from people with different perspectives and different experiences,” Mearns says.
While the campus and city community welcomed Mearns, they were also skeptical of how he will govern. Ball State has had an acting president for nearly a year, after former president Paul Ferguson resigned suddenly last January. University officials have not given a reason why Ferguson spent only a year-and-a-half at Ball State’s helm. Mearns was asked about transparency twice during his introductory press conference. He says he wants to be a president who is “visible on campus.”
“Because I believe transparency is not just what you might communicate by way of a memo or an email. But it’s in those informal conversations as well.”
Mearns says he will officially begin working at Ball State in August, once his contract at Northern Kentucky is fulfilled.