VU Board of Trustees extends president’s contract

VU Board of Trustees extends president’s contract

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December 01, 2021

VINCENNES, Ind. - The contract of Vincennes University President Dr. Chuck Johnson was extended through 2024 by the Board of Trustees at its Dec. 1 meeting in the Shake Learning Resource Center.

Board Chair John Stachura and multiple Trustees praised Johnson for his superb leadership and contributions to fulfilling the University’s mission.

"We are very pleased with the direction Dr. Johnson is taking us," Trustee Mike Sievers said. "We’ve gone through some really challenging times in the last 18 or 24 months. In spite of those obstacles, we are really headed in the right direction. His leadership is taking the University where it needs to go. We are very appreciative of his work."

The Board also expressed its gratitude to longtime administrator Mike Gress. It adopted a resolution of appreciation for his dedicated service to the University and Board. Gress has retired after 41 years at VU. He began his career with the University as a faculty member in 1980. Gress held various administrative roles, including Assistant Provost for Curriculum and Instruction and Interim Senior Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research.

"Mike Gress is really a champion for Vincennes University," Johnson said. "Every institution has a person or persons that they can call on in times of challenge or times of difficulty to step up and be heroes. Mike has certainly been a hero for this institution, taking on some of the toughest tasks with great conviction, a wonderful work ethic, and a tremendous passion for quality, and has delivered for this institution time and time again. We would not be where we are as an institution if not for Mike’s great efforts."

In other matters, the Trustees voted to approve a degree program that will meet vital healthcare needs. The demand for nurses with a bachelor’s degree is rising. The LPN-BSN Concentration establishes a direct pathway for LPNs to obtain a bachelor’s degree in three years instead of the typical four to five years.

During the meeting, Director of Admissions Ryan Barbauld shared in his report that application numbers are up for the Vincennes Campus, VU Jasper Campus, Aviation Technology Center maintenance program in Indianapolis, and American Sign Language campus in Indianapolis for Spring 2022. He also stated numbers are up for Fall 2022 for the Vincennes and ATC campuses. Using predictive modeling and if trends continue, Barbauld noted the University could see an enrollment increase of 1-4% in the fall of 2022.

Vice President for Workforce Development and Community Services David Tucker gave an update on Business and Industry and the major impact and benefits it provides to Hoosiers and the state of Indiana. Tucker reported B&I served more than 51,000 individuals in the 2020-21 fiscal year. He also shared news about the Corporate Partnership Initiative and the bold, innovative measures connecting employers to training and educational opportunities at VU.

In other action,

  • Johnson reported on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council and its upcoming professional development sessions. The Council will hold monthly sessions and activities during Spring Semester 2022 that align with the University’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • The Board re-elected Mike Sievers as First Vice-Chair; Reggie Henderson, Second Vice-Chair; and JR Gaylor, Secretary.
  • The Board approved Vice President of Financial Services Tim Eaton as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees.
  • Consultant Bryan Rathert gave a report on VU using data to increase enrollment efforts and improve the effectiveness of support organizations.
  • Chief Information Officer Bob Wisler reported on the digital transformation at VU.