VU Board of Trustees holds annual meeting - External Relations
VU Board of Trustees holds annual meeting
October 6, 2020
VINCENNES, Ind. – Conner McKinney was sworn in as the newest trustee
and John Stachura was elected to serve another term as chair during
the Vincennes University Board of Trustees Annual Meeting on Oct. 5.
The board heard university updates via Zoom, and a limited number of
individuals attended the meeting held in the Innovation Room of the
Shake Learning Resource Center.
McKinney (Sumner, Illinois) is serving as Student Trustee. His term
runs through Oct. 3, 2021. McKinney is studying business
administration after switching from biological biomedical sciences.
Stachura has served on the VU Board since 2006.
Gov. Eric Holcomb has reappointed three trustees to the Board of Trustees:
J.R. Gaylor (Noblesville), president & CEO of Associated
Builders & Contractors of Indiana, will serve through Oct. 1, 2023.
Eric “Rick” Schach (Evansville) will serve through Oct. 1, 2023.
Don Villwock (Edwardsport), president, CEO, and owner of Villwock
Farms, will serve through Oct. 1, 2023.
During the President’s remarks, VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson spoke
about the $2.5 million grant the University received from Lilly
Endowment Inc. The grant will fund programs to help strengthen
work-based learning partnerships and programs; launch the Techmester
program that will bring career and technical education (CTE) students
to attend classes on the Vincennes campus; and fund a science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) academy that will
expose underrepresented populations to careers and education in STEM fields.
VU continues to expand its footprint in the critical area of
cybersecurity. Johnson shared news of VU’s new partnership with Purdue
University’s Cyber Apprenticeship Program (P-CAP) that is providing a
pathway to at least 5,000 students by 2023. VU is the only university
providing the opportunity to earn stackable degree programs at the
one-year or two-year degree programs level. The University is offering
two online associate degree programs and an online cybersecurity
certificate for students registered in the innovative apprenticeship program.
Johnson announced the creation of the Diversity, Equity, and
Inclusion Council. Members of the council will work together to better
understand how VU’s culture, policies, and processes may be
contributing to challenges faced by students, faculty, and staff of
various backgrounds. It will also identify approaches to help ensure
that the University is an institution where everyone has a genuine
opportunity to succeed in achieving their goals.
The Higher Learning Commission visited the Vincennes campus last
week. Johnson said the University received positive feedback during
the 1 ½ day visit.
In other business:
Senior Director of External Relations Sarah Fortune reported
system-wide enrollment has held fairly steady when comparing 2019 to
2020, and VU has experienced only a 4 percent decrease. On average,
community colleges are experiencing a 10 to 30 percent decrease in
2020. Fortune noted there has been a 3 percent increase in Hispanic
students. She also noted student retention is going very well and
credited VU’s faculty and staff for going above and beyond to ensure
each student is connected with the resources and support needed to
be successful. VU is currently engaged with an Admissions consultant
from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and
Admissions Officers (AACRAO) to enhance multicultural recruitment
and recruitment efforts in a Covid-19 environment. Fortune shared
applications for the 2021 spring and fall semesters are coming in strong.
Trustees heard a report from the Executive Director of VU
Foundation and Senior Director of Institutional Advancement Kristi
Deetz and Director of Development Leslie Kidwell on the VU
Foundation and fundraising efforts. Deetz announced the Foundation
experienced several areas of growth during the 2020 fiscal year. It
established 16 new funds, including 11 new scholarships. The average
gift size per donor increased, the average gift by foundations
doubled, and the overall number of individual donors went up as
well. Deetz proudly announced the return of Columns: The
Foundation and Alumni Magazine of Vincennes University. The
publication shares stories demonstrating the Trailblazer spirit,
introduces members of the VU community, and reveals the growth of VU.
Stachura praised the new edition of Columns. He also congratulated
President Johnson along with the administration, faculty, and staff
on the tremendous job they have done related to Covid-19. He also
applauded Assistant Vice President and VU Jasper Dean Christian
Blome for the great things and efforts happening at the VU Jasper campus.