Ball St. president won't miss 'long days, long nights'

Gora will retire at end of school year

MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora says she sees good days ahead for the Muncie-based university.

Gora met with reporters on Monday, two days after announcing she plans to retire in June.

Gora is the first woman to lead a public university in Indiana.

She stunned the school’s board of trustees over the weekend when she told them this year would be her final year.

Gora said 10 years is enough and that leaving one year too early is better than one day too late.

The Star Press reports ( ) Gora said she's proud of many things during her tenure including immersive learning at the university, a geothermal heating and cooling project that has attracted national publicity; the collaboration between the university and Muncie, and appearances on the Muncie campus by alumnus David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and others.

"I am incredibly proud of the emphasis on immersive learning and the way we have really identified the distinctiveness of a Ball State education. I, I think that that will carry this university forward for the next decade," Gora said.

Gora said changes at Ball State are preparing students for the employment marketplace of the 21st century.

She said that Ball State can compete in the classroom with Purdue University and Indiana University, even though not being in the Big Ten means it doesn’t get the athletic fame.

Ball State Trustees President Hollis Hughes said the school will search for a person who will hit the ground running, just as Gora did.

"It's really hard to celebrate when you are saying goodbye to someone who has been so dynamic and provided such outstanding leadership," Hughes said.

Gora says she won't miss "the long days and long nights" required of a college president.

Gora’s retirement will take effect at the end of the school year. The trustees hope to have her replacement picked by the time she leaves in eight months.

She says she and her husband will move to their home in Williamsburg, Va., after she steps down, but she expects to return to Muncie for visits.

Follow Norman Cox on Twitter: @normancox6

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