- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - Acting Ball State University President Terry King says he doesn’t support a proposed resolution in the Indiana Senate that would change how school trustees are appointed.

King took over at BSU after predecessor Paul Ferguson resigned earlier this year. The (Muncie) Star Press (https://tspne.ws/1SWfAdx ) reports that King says he would reject the proposal, which came after Ferguson’s severance package will pay him $450,000 over the next year even though he resigned.

“I likened this to the politburo,” urban planning professor Bruce Frankel told Senate members. “A secret process occurs and all of a sudden a new president emerges, and the removal of the president occurs in the exact same way.”

The resolution would have the alumni association appoint three of Ball State’s trustees. The Student Government Association, city of Muncie and University Senate would each appoint one and the governor would appoint the remaining three. Right now the governor appoints all nine members.

The resolution also calls on King and the board of trustees to change university policies/bylaws to prevent secrecy in employment contracts of future presidents and to conduct open searches for new presidents.

“My alarm was that taxpayers are footing about 29 percent of the bill of the university,” Frankel said. “We are becoming less publicly supported.”

Student fees make up $192 million of Ball State’s $345 million general fund budget for 2015-16, while state appropriations fund $140 million of the budget.

“What you are doing by this is asking the state to give up control of a state university,” King told the Senate, noting that the city of Muncie “makes no direct financial contribution to the institution.”

King says the resolution is asking the state to give up control of a state university.

The Senate voted to appoint a committee to continue drafting the resolution, which Frankel calls “a statement.” If the Senate approves it and the president and board of trustees reject it, “then it becomes a bigger statement,” Frankel said.

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Information from: The Star Press, https://www.thestarpress.com


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