VU announces plans to reopen for in-person classes

VU announces plans to reopen for in-person classes

Vincennes University Logo

June 18, 2020

June 18, 2020

VINCENNES, Ind. – Vincennes University is preparing for the return of students to its campuses in August for face-to-face instruction with appropriate social distancing guidelines and safety measures in place.

Changes to the University’s academic calendar for the 2020 Fall Semester and 2021 Spring Semester were shared during a call-in meeting of the Board of Trustees on June 17.

Face-to-face instruction for the fall semester will end before Thanksgiving and the start of the spring semester will be delayed to safeguard students, faculty, staff, and the community from COVID-19. The start and end dates for the 2020-21 academic year remain the same, but there is a long pause in face-to-face instruction at mid-year.

“VU is doing everything we can to continue to provide our students with the highest quality academic and student experience while also doing our best to protect the health and safety of everyone in our community,” VU President Chuck Johnson said. 

In-person and online classes for the fall semester will start on Monday, Aug. 17. The last day of face-to-face instruction is Tuesday, Nov. 24. After Thanksgiving, remaining instruction and exams will be delivered online or remotely through the last day of the semester on Friday, Dec. 11.

The start of the 2021 Spring Semester is postponed one week and the first two weeks of instruction will be delivered in an online/remote environment. The first day of the spring semester is Tuesday, Jan. 19. Face-to-face instruction begins on Monday, Feb. 1. Final exams will be delivered through the traditional format with the final day of the semester on Friday, May 7. 

Traditional breaks, like fall break and spring break, along with some University holidays, have been shifted to accommodate the new schedule. Fall break is postponed from Oct. 12-13 to Nov. 30-Dec. 1. There will be no mid-semester spring break, but the mid-year break between semesters will be extended by a week. 

Plans to open residence halls were also shared. Halls are scheduled to reopen with reduced capacity and with protocols in place that promote proper social distancing and safety. Details of that plan will be released in July.

VU remains fully committed to its students and its mission. 

During the Board of Trustees meeting, Johnson stressed VU’s dedication to the values of diversity and inclusion.

“We sent a statement on June 1 to every student and all faculty and staff and promoted it on social media, affirming Vincennes University’s commitment to diversity and to maintain an environment where everyone can feel safe, protected, and supported, and to provide everyone with an opportunity to be successful. As part of our mission, we have to make sure we are continuing to make this a place where everyone feels they are welcome and can be successful, and do our part to help them achieve,” Johnson said.

In other business, the Board of Trustees received a fall enrollment projection report from VU’s new Senior Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research Dale Pietrzak. The models presented by Pietrzak projected that enrollment on the Vincennes main campus could end up between a very small decline to a possible increase.

The Board received a fall enrollment update from Admissions Director Heidi Whitehead. She reported that the “pace is picking up” in the number of new students who are attending academic advising and orientation, and registering for classes via the virtual Start VU process.

Notably, Johnson shared that applications in VU’s bachelor’s degree programs are trending up in most areas compared to last year. The University is seeing growth in special education/elementary education, nursing, and technology bachelor’s programs.

Senior Director of External Relations Sarah Fortune gave a report highlighting VU’s updated website and advertising campaigns. 

The Board of Trustees approved the promotion of Instructional Services staff members, Jamie Cox (Public Services Librarian, Learning Resource Center) and Donna Taylor Bouchie (Director of Career Center, Student Affairs), to Professional Staff Level III.