Gora discusses decision to leave Ball State

Ball State President Jo Ann Gora

After 10 years as the president of Ball State University, Dr. Jo Ann Gora says it is time to move on.

She became the first woman to serve as president of a public university in Indiana when she was sworn in as Ball State's 14th president. Students told her Monday they learned over decision to step down via social media.

"A lot of people were tweeting about it," one student said.

"It's a whole new world. It's a whole new world," Gora responded.

"It's a far better place 10 years later than when she arrived," said Board of Trustees President Hollis Hughes.

A half-billion dollars in physical improvements certainly changed the face of Ball State. A commitment to immersive learning changed its direction, but the job was taking its toll.

"It's not the long days.@It's the long days and nights.@It is the relentless pace of these kinds of jobs that make them exhausting, really, so at some point you have to say, 'Okay, I need space in my life and I feel I need more space in my life right now'," Gora revealed during an afternoon news conference on the Ball State campus.

"It's definitely a big loss for our school," one student observed.@

The students on campus are well aware of her announced intentions.

"My sister took me on my tour.@ She was here ten years ago and she was really impressed how much nicer it was than when she was here ten years ago," the student continued.

"If we find someone as good as her, it will be okay for the school, but it's going to be a huge loss, of course," another chimed in.

Gora says the opportunities for all students are so much better now than when she started her academic career 40 years ago at Rutgers.

"You are only limited by your own ambition and willingness to work," she noted.

A legacy left by a college presidency, redefined.

Gora plans to retire by the end of June 2014.@ Ball State hopes to have her replacement named in July.