VU Board approves honorary degrees for retired lawmakers, welcomes new Trustee

VU Board approves honorary degrees for retired lawmakers, welcomes new Trustee

Vincennes University Logo

March 01, 2023

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - The Vincennes University Board of Trustees unanimously approved honorary doctorates for a pair of revered Hoosier lawmakers and welcomed a new Trustee at Board Retreat on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Former State Senator Luke Kenley and former State Representative Dr. Tim Brown will receive their honorary degrees during the Spring 2023 Commencement on April 29 at the P.E. Complex.

According to VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson, “Their work was so impactful for the state of Indiana both in terms of economic growth and impact, but also in terms of education. We thank them for their service to Indiana, education, and Vincennes University during their time in office. We look forward to recognizing their accomplishments and achievements.”

Brown served as Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee before retiring in 2022 after 28 years of public service. He is also a retired emergency room physician.

Kenley retired in 2017 from the Indiana Senate after serving since 1992. During his tenure, he was a fiscal leader and served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. He also served in the United State Army and was a Noblesville City Court Judge.

Brandon Haight

Brandon Haight was sworn in at the beginning of the regular session meeting during the Board Retreat in French Lick. Haight is a General Manager of the East Plant at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton, Indiana. He has been employed by the company for 17 ½ years. He earned an associate degree in Automotive Service Technology from Glendale Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology from Weber State University. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Grand Canyon University. The married father of four fills the board vacancy created by the retirement of George Ridgway. Haight was appointed in October 2022. His term expires on Oct. 6, 2025.

Johnson said, “Congratulations to Brandon. We welcome him to the Board. We thank him for his willingness to serve in this important capacity and to represent a key partner for Vincennes University and a key employer for our region and the state of Indiana.”

In other business, the Board approved the addition of a Medical Coding Certificate and an Agribusiness – Horticulture and Landscape Design Concentration. It also approved the suspension of the Horticulture and Landscape Design program in the College of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. 

Planning for renovations of the Green Activities Center is underway. The Board authorized the Finance and Revenue Committee to approve forthcoming bids for the renovations. The center, which is used by both the University and the community, will undergo an estimated $1.9 million upgrade.

In his remarks, Johnson shared that VU is preparing for a full slate of robust on-campus experiences this summer and will host a bevy of popular youth camps and enrichment programs.

# # #