Deetz named VU Senior Director of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of Foundation

Kristi Deetz headshot

May 31, 2019

VINCENNES, Ind. - VU President Chuck Johnson and VU Foundation Board Chair Gregg Sturm have announced that the Vincennes University Foundation has named Kristi Deetz as its new Executive Director. Deetz will also serve in the newly formed role of Senior Director of Advancement for Vincennes University. In these capacities, Deetz will report to both the VU Foundation Board and the VU President.

“The establishment of this dual role is the next step in a renewed relationship between the University and the VU Foundation. Resources are a key challenge for all higher education institutions. I look forward to working with Kristi to build on successful fundraising initiatives that will enhance student success, college attainment, and the reputation and strength of the University,” Johnson said.

Deetz has most recently served as the Foundation’s interim director while also serving as senior director of External Relations. She took over the ER post in December 2006 after serving seven months as interim senior director.

Phil Rath, VU Vice President for Financial Services and Government Relations, Treasurer of the VU Foundation, and Chair of the Search Committee said, “Kristi is a great choice for this role. She brings a passion for VU, a great understanding of the important role of the VU Foundation, and a strong set of skills and knowledge in telling the VU story to many different audiences.”

Johnson added, “In her role as interim director these past 14 months, Kristi has stepped up and helped us move forward on a variety of important efforts. She understands how to work well with the many stakeholders of the Foundation, including the staff, the Foundation board, alumni, donors, and the university community.”

This past winter Deetz played a key role in the establishment of a $4.5 million scholarship endowment from Alexandra Clark Dunn. That donation represents the largest single gift to the VU Foundation or the University.

She has led efforts to develop strategic marketing, communications, and recruitment initiatives, as well as direct brand management, institutional positioning, media relations, and crisis communications. She was a VU Peer Recognition Award recipient in 2006.

“She’s very passionate about VU and she understands the various departments at VU that can assist and help the Foundation. I think that is going to certainly help,” Sturm said.

“We are happy that she’s agreed to serve full time as the Executive Director of the Foundation. We look forward to her doing an excellent job.”

The Foundation and University are working in close partnership to combine their strengths in fresh and complementary ways.

“The University and Foundation worked together on this search,” Johnson said. “We are pleased to have a common vision of the future to build on the many successes we’ve had.

Deetz possesses a long history with VU. A Vincennes native, she has more than 25 years of experience working at the university.

She was communications manager at VU, 2004-06, following 13 years as producer/director for WVUT-TV, a part of the VU Broadcasting Department. While at WVUT she also served as an adjunct instructor of broadcasting and was a production freelancer with organizations such as Indiana Pacers TV and Metro Sports.

Her VU ties run deep. Deetz is a second-generation VU alumna. Her son Kenneth graduated from VU in May and her daughter Elizabeth is a freshman at VU.

Beginning with a high school internship at VU in communications, Deetz earned associate degrees in both broadcast technology and modern foreign language. In addition, she served as class officer and the student appointee of Indiana Governor Robert Orr to the VU Board of Trustees. She also received an Indiana Vocational Education Award for Excellence.

Deetz earned a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and a master’s degree in Executive Development in Public Service, both from Ball State University, all with high distinction. She is also a graduate of Vincennes Lincoln High School.

She has provided extensive service to her community. She was a member of the board for Leadership Knox County, where she designed new curriculum and served as its facilitator/instructor in 2012-14. Since 2009 she has served on the board of the Lincoln High School Band Boosters. She is currently on the Board of Directors for PACE Community Action Agency, Inc. Deetz has served in leadership roles for the Vincennes Education Foundation, Old Town Players, First United Methodist Church, Boy Scouts of America, and the Lincoln High School Soccer Boosters. She is a member of Sigma Phi Gamma International Sorority, Omicron Delta Chapter. 


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