Jo Ann M. Gora

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Jo Ann M. Gora
President of
Ball State University
In office
Preceded byBlaine A. Brownell
Succeeded byPaul W. Ferguson
Chancellor of University of Massachusetts Boston
In office
Preceded byJean F. MacCormack (Interim)
Succeeded byJ. Keith Motley (Interim)
Personal details
BornNew York City
Spouse(s)Roy Budd
Children2 (including one stepdaughter)
ResidenceBracken House

Jo Ann Marie Gora (nicknamed "JoGo" by students[1]) was the 14th President of Ball State University. Before coming to Ball State she was a chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, and, prior to that, she was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Old Dominion University in Virginia.

In the 2011-2012 academic year, Gora was the fifth-highest paid public college president in the United States, with a total compensation of $984,647.[2] In October 2013, Gora announced that she would be retiring on June 30, 2014, after 10 years of service.[3]


Gora, a native New Yorker, is married to Roy Budd and has a son and a stepdaughter.


Gora earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Vassar College and master's and doctoral degrees in sociology from Rutgers University.[4]

University of Massachusetts[edit]

Gora served as chancellor in August 2001 and helped expand its honors college as well as dedicated herself to the growth of the campus and its students. During this time, the university raised admission standards, increased community outreach, and rewired the campus to include increased bandwidth. She stated in her inaugural speech that she was committed to the construction of residence halls as well as the external perspective of University of Massachusetts Boston.[5] This helped lead the way for her presidency at Ball State University.

Old Dominion University in Virginia[edit]

Gora served as provost and vice-president for academic affairs. In 1995, President James V. Koch of Old Dominion University, took a leave of absence for a semester, leaving Gora as the university's acting president. At that time in Virginia, Gora became the first female president of a doctoral institution in Virginia.[6] In addition to being the first female president, she influenced the rise in university admission standards, expanded their honors college, and developed a state-wide distance learning program.


  • The New Female Criminal: Empirical Reality or Social Myth?
  • Emergency Squad Volunteers: Professionalism in Unpaid Work

Ball State University[edit]

Gora served as the president of Ball State University for ten years, from 2004 to 2014. She was appointed by the Ball State University Board of Trustees in May 2004, beginning her presidency in August of that year. Upon her inauguration at Ball State, Gora forwent a traditional ceremony and used the money to establish a scholarship fund.

Effect on Ball State University[edit]

Gora with Richard Lugar in 2004
Grand opening of the David Letterman Communication and Media Building.
Park Hall, seen with waterfall pond, opened for the 2007–2008 school year.
  • Has been involved in over $418 million of completed or current construction to change the face of Ball State.[7]
    • McKinley Safety Improvement Project Phase 1 & 2
    • Ball State University: Indianapolis Center (2006)
    • Bookmark Cafe in Bracken Library (2007)
    • Scheumann Stadium Renovation (2007)
    • David Letterman Communication and Media Building (2007)
    • Park Hall (2007)
    • Geothermal Conversion Project (2009–present)
    • Renovation of the Student Center (2009) in two phases costing $19 million to completely remodel the first floor, provide wheelchair access to the main entrance and to update mechanical systems.[8]
    • DeHority Hall $20.2 million renovation into new Honors College residence hall (2009)[9]
    • Renovation of the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball mansion (2009) on Riverside Avenue at a cost of $1.2 million from a residential structure into new offices and classrooms to house the Honors College, removal of tennis courts and driveway and conversion of the detached garage structure into a classroom for 40 students.[10]
    • Student Recreation and Wellness Center (2010), $40 million in renovations and new construction adding five additional gymnasiums, a rock-climbing wall, indoor 1/8 mile track and facilities for indoor soccer, baseball and rugby.[11]
    • Thomas J. Kinghorn Hall (2010),[12] a $35.6 million, 206,000-square-foot (19,100 m2) facility to house 600 students at the northeast edge of campus, at New York and Neely avenues.[13]
    • Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass (2010), home of the University's bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts in visual arts. Made possible by a $5 million grant from the Glick Foundation, the Center for Glass includes more than 10,000 square feet (930 m2) of space with a hot shop consisting of two gas-fired glass furnaces. The building is unique in that it is the first designed to utilize the campus's geothermal heating and cooling system now under construction.[14]
    • A. Umit Taftali Center for Capital Markets and Investing (2010)
    • Ball State Welcome Center (2010)
  • Led university to adopt tobacco-free campus policy (2013)

Awards and honors[edit]

  • The Indiana Commission for Women named Gora a 2005 Torchbearer, the highest honor given to women by the state of Indiana.[15]
  • In 2006, the Coalition of Women's Organizations of Delaware County honored Gora with the Vivian Conley Award for her dedication for community contributions.[16]
  • Indianapolis Business Journal named her one of the 19 most influential women in Indiana.[17]
  • Gora received the Walter S. Blackburn Award in 2006 because of her work promoting the Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning Indianapolis Center.
  • In 2014, the Ball State University Board of Trustees honored Gora as outgoing president by naming the Student Recreation and Wellness Center after her.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fittes, Emma Kate (2014-04-23). "Defining Ball State". The Ball State Daily News. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
  2. ^ Ball State University president among nation's highest paid. (Indianapolis Business Journal Website) Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ball State University - Biography (Ball State University Website), Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  5. ^ Jo Ann Gora Is Inaugurated as Sixth Chancellor on September 27. (The UMass Website), Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  7. ^ Ball State University - Biography (Ball State University Website), Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  8. ^ Student Center (Ball State University Website) Archived 2008-11-22 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  9. ^ DeHority Hall (Ball State University Website) Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  10. ^ Honors College (Ball State University Website) Archived 2011-06-13 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  11. ^ Student Recreation and Wellness Facility (Ball State University Website) Archived 2010-06-04 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  12. ^ Newest addition to campus to be called Thomas J. Kinghorn Hall. (Ball State University Website) Archived 2009-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved June 30, 2009.
  13. ^ North Residence Hall (Ball State University Website) Archived 2010-06-04 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  14. ^ Reaching for the "glass" ring: Ball State readies its new center for glass art. (Ball State University Website) Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  15. ^ Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora Receives 2005 Torchbearer Award(Ball State University Website) Archived 2008-10-13 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved March 16, 2008.
  16. ^ Gora honored for community contributions(Ball State University Website) Archived 2006-09-16 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved March 16, 2008.
  17. ^ Gora receives honor in Indy newspaper(Ball State Daily News Website) Archived 2007-11-19 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  18. ^ Fallon, Greg (2014-05-04). "Ball State names building after retiring president Jo Ann Gora". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
Preceded by
Blaine A. Brownell
President of Ball State University
Succeeded by