Mike Gehrich named Interim Dean of VU College of Technology

Headshot of Mike Gehrich. He is wearing a dress shirt and blazer jacket.

June 25, 2024

VINCENNES, Ind. - Longtime Vincennes University Director of Aviation Mike Gehrich will become Interim Dean for the College of Technology. He replaces Ty Freed who has accepted a position as an automotive instructor at Twin Rivers Career and Technical Education Cooperative.

Gehrich, a VU alumnus, has a long history of dedicated service to the University.

He has over 31 years of experience at VU and oversees the Aviation Technology Center (ATC). The state-of-the-art facility is located near the Indianapolis International Airport and is home to VU’s Aviation Flight and Aviation Maintenance programs.

Provost Dr. Laura Treanor said,  “With more than three decades of service at VU, Mike brings exceptional knowledge and experience to the table. His extensive background and deep commitment to VU make him the ideal person to serve as interim dean. We are confident Mike’s leadership will ensure a seamless transition and continued excellence in our College of Technology programs. We are confident Mike will continue to build on the successes of the College of Technology and we look forward to the positive impact of his leadership.”

Gehrich brings a wealth of history and expertise to the interim dean position. He will leverage his robust experiences which include serving as a faculty member and a department chair, and participating in the VU President’s Advisory Committee, Provost’s Advisory Committee, and Faculty Senate.

His commitment to advancing STEM education is evident through his past participation in programs such as the Indiana Math, Science, and Technology Alliance, Minority Engineer Advancement Program, Fearless Females program, and the Minority Engineering Program of Indianapolis. He is also a charter member of the Talent Solutions Coalition.

Gehrich said, “I am truly humbled and excited to step into the role of interim dean of the College of Technology. I am eager to bring my experience and passion for education to this position. I look forward to working with our amazing partners, talented faculty, and dedicated students to continue advancing our innovative programs and initiatives.”

Gehrich holds an associate degree in Aviation Maintenance from VU, a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Technology from Purdue University, and a Master of Leadership Development from St. Mary of the Woods College.

His professional credentials include being an FAA-certified airframe and powerplant mechanic for 35 years, an FAA Designated Mechanic Examiner for 30 years, a private pilot, and holder of a Class A commercial driver’s license. His exemplary career includes leadership roles with the Indiana State Police Aviation Section, Lafayette Aviation, American Trans Air, United Airlines, and Rolls Royce. Gehrich has been involved in various boards and councils, including the Flight1 board, the national board of the Aviation Technician Education Council, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s FAASTeam. His community involvement includes serving previously on the Walker Career Center Board and the Indianapolis Public Schools’ School 15 community board.

The search for the next College of Technology dean will be announced soon.

Freed’s last day at VU is July 19.

After acting as the college's interim dean, Freed was appointed Technology Dean in June 2017. He has been a pivotal figure at VU for the past 24 years. Freed’s contributions have been instrumental in the College of Technology’s successful navigation through COVID and remote learning. He has excelled in various roles including faculty member, department chair, and dean, where he championed the creation of innovative new degree programs and partnerships.

“While Ty is stepping down from his role as dean, he plans to maintain a connection with VU through his work at Twin Rivers,” Treanor said. “He remains committed to assisting the University as it navigates the dual credit landscape and has expressed a willingness to return to VU to teach when the time is right.”

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