An Open Letter to the VU Family
MARCH 20, 2020

Dear VU Family:

“There is no education like adversity.”  This quote by Benjamin Disraeli, 19th Century UK Prime Minister, says a lot about what has been happening in our world over the past several days.  So, what have we learned?

We’ve learned that VU faculty and staff are innovative problem solvers.  I’ve always known that VU’s faculty and staff aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves to get the job done, but I couldn’t be more proud of all of the work that has been done and is being done by so many over the past several days.  All of that work will ensure that our students have pathways to continue their education and achieve their goals.

We’ve learned that VU students are resilient.  I have had the chance to interact with a number of VU students over the past several days.  While there is understandable concern, they have all seemed ready to do their part to succeed while protecting our communities from the spread of this virus.  This is a generation of students that we should all be proud of.

We’ve learned that information and communication are our best weapons to combat threats like coronavirus.  One of the biggest challenges in this situation is the rapidly changing guidance and how it impacts VU’s plans.  VU has been doing what we can to adjust “on the fly” as guidance has been changing daily, if not hourly, over the past 10 days.  We know that our decisions have a significant impact on students and their families, and we have done our best to advise all VU stakeholders as soon as conditions change.  We promise to continue doing our best to keep you informed.

We’ve learned that collaboration and cooperation are critical in rapidly-changing environments.  Though each college or university must make decisions based on the unique needs and characteristics of their school, VU is blessed to be part of a network of colleagues at other Indiana higher education institutions that share information and offer support as we all navigate these unknown waters.  

We’ve learned that the VU family is real.  We often refer to the VU “family,” a community of people who contribute to VU’s mission and care about its success.  Only in times when relationships are truly tested is one able to truly assess the strength of the fiber that holds people together. Through the many posts on social media, emails, comments from students, parents, alumni, employers, and friends, it is clear that we are a family.  Family members don’t always agree on everything and things can get emotional at times, but the VU family shares the same values of educational quality, student success, and strong communities—and those bind us now and through the future.

As we prepare to make the full adjustment to our courses on Monday, I am full of appreciation for all of you.  I know VU will get through this challenging period and emerge even stronger and better on the other side.

Please stay safe, keep checking our website and other channels for updates, and don’t hesitate to contact me if I can do anything for you.

With warmest regards and care,


Chuck Johnson
Vincennes University