VU Board of Trustees elects new chairman

John Stachura handing Mike Sievers a gavel.

October 03, 2023

VINCENNES, Ind. - Businessman Mike Sievers was elected Chairman of the Vincennes University Board of Trustees during its annual meeting on Monday, Oct. 2. In addition, Gayle Baugh '24 was sworn in for a history-making second term as Student Trustee.

Sievers has served on the Board since 2006, and most recently served as its First Vice Chair. Sievers replaces John Stachura (pictured above l-r). Stachura assumed the role of chairman in 2015.

“I am honored and humbled by the trust and confidence bestowed upon me by my colleagues on the Board of Trustees,” Sievers said. “Serving as the chairman of this distinguished university’s Board is a tremendous privilege, and I accept this responsibility with utmost gratitude and dedication. Together, we will steer our institution toward a future of growth, innovation, and academic excellence, all while staying true to the University's mission and its commitment to ensuring higher education is affordable and accessible to all. I look forward to collaborating with the Board, and the entire University community as we continue to shape the future of Vincennes University.”

According to VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson, “On behalf of Vincennes University, I extend our congratulations to Chairman Sievers. His wealth of experience and understanding of our institution’s mission, values, and goals make him an exceptional choice. I am looking forward to this new chapter of his leadership.”

Sievers is the founder of Sievers Construction Company, LLC and Sievers and Companies, which acquires, develops, and manages investment properties. Some of his most significant development projects include Fox Ridge Estates, Green Farms Estates, The Bierhaus Center, and the Vincennes Surgery Center.

Stachura, who was appointed to the Board in 2006, said it was the right time to pass the torch. He will continue to serve as a Trustee. Stachura thanked his fellow Trustees, Dr. Chuck Johnson, and the University community.

Johnson congratulated Sievers, commended Stachura on his service to the Board, and praised Baugh on her reappointment by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Baugh of Greencastle, Indiana, is the first VU Student Trustee to be re-appointed to the Board of Trustees. The elementary and special education major will serve through Oct. 6, 2024.

Board Secretary J.R. Gaylor, Trustee Rick Schach, and Trustee Don Villwock also received reappointments from Holcomb. They will serve three-year terms through Oct. 4, 2026.

Much of the annual meeting in the Shake Learning Resource Center focused on reports and updates regarding the Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, VU Foundation, Alumni Association, and Instructional Services.

Academic and Student Affairs Update

Dr. Laura Treanor, VU Provost and Vice President of Instructional Services, provided an overview of 16 major initiatives and priorities within Instructional Services that cut across the university system. She highlighted dual credit organization and structure, distance education, hybrid and online learning development, Center for Advancement for Faculty Excellence, the Leadership Lunch and Learn Series, focus on inclusive practices, innovation efforts, and other vital areas that are key to the success of students, faculty, and staff and the University's continued excellence.

 VU Foundation and Alumni Association Update

The Executive Director of the VU Foundation and Senior Director of Institutional Advancement Kristi Deetz and Director of Development Leslie Kidwell presented an annual update of activities and advancements within the VU Foundation and Alumni Association. Deetz shared how the Foundation has seen an 83 percent increase in contributions since 2018, excluding large one-time gifts. The impressive growth is a result of a realignment that better supports the priorities of the University.

 Student Government Association and Campus Activities Board Update

Student Government Association President Marissa Bradley and Campus Activities Board Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator Olivia Steward shared a summary of the student-led efforts of the groups. They explained how SGA and CAB serve current VU students, highlighting the engaging activities and unique events for students planned throughout the academic year.

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