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Joanne Ballard says farewell to CSU-Pueblo

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By Chelsea Reese

chelseareese@rocketmail.com

Joanne Ballard will soon be writing the next chapter of her life, which will include new plots, characters and a re-structured conclusion.

Ballard, who has served as vice president of finance and administration for the past seven years, announced she will be retiring in June.

Joanne Ballard, vice president of finance and administration, will be retiring in June. Photo from CSU-Pueblo Today archive.
There are speculations as to why Ballard has decided to retire so early in her career.  However, Ballard said it is because there are other things she wants to achieve in her lifetime and it seemed like the perfect time to move on with the departure of university’s president, Joe Garcia.

 

“I want to have enough time during retirement to go enjoy a whole lot of other things and a presidential change seemed like a good time to make that change,” Ballard said. “I’ve worked under two presidents, two really great presidents, and getting a new president is a lot of work. It takes a lot.”

Ballard has a theory, that during any career there should be a limited number of computer and presidential convergences that people should go through, she said.

“They are very stressful and I’ve done two of each,” Ballard said.

During her retirement, Ballard plans to take the first few months off and relax, but most importantly she wants to get reacquainted with her family, she said. Ballard also hopes to do some volunteer work before she starts any other projects that she might get involved with in the future, she said.

“This job requires an awful lot of time and so it’s dominated my life the seven years I’ve been here,” Ballard said. “If I get the bug, I can always go do project work for somebody but first I just want some down time. That’s my first goal.”

She started her career at CSU-Pueblo in August 2003 and has since then been responsible for many aspects of the school, such as budgets, human resources, purchasing, facilities and campus safety.

Ballard doesn’t have a favorite job, but she said one of the best parts of her job is managing the school’s resources. Everything can be considered a resource, from money to the people on campus, she said.  The hardest part of her job, however, is that there are not enough resources, she said.

“The funding is always a problem. We don’t have enough support from the state and that just ripples through everything,” Ballard said.

Mike Farley, the director of budgets, will take over as interim VPFA until the president finds someone qualified for the job.

Ballard believes having a sense of humor, strength and stamina, and not worrying about things that can’t be controlled are necessary for anyone serving as VPFA, she said.

“We can’t do anything about the funding. We just need to find a way to take care of the university and not get hung up on the things we can’t do anything about,” Ballard said.

Ballard has bachelor’s degrees in fine arts, English literature, and accounting.  Ballard earned her accounting degree at Metropolitan State College of Denver, but she said she should have continued on to get her master’s degree in accounting.

“Here’s a lesson for students. I didn’t bother to get advised and so I didn’t make the best decision,” Ballard said. “It hasn’t been a huge negative, but no one needs three bachelor’s degrees.”