News

VU Board of Trustees receives Health Sciences Center project update

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December 07, 2023

December 7, 2023

VINCENNES, Ind. –  The Vincennes University Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 6, was engrossing, as the Trustees were brought up to speed on significant happenings within the University community.

The highlights included a comprehensive update on the upcoming construction of the $33.9 million, 70,000-square-foot Center for Health Sciences and Active Learning. The visionary project, set to elevate the educational landscape, promises state-of-the-art facilities and resources for VU students.

A rendering shows a view of the Center for Health Sciences and Active Learning from Indianapolis Ave.
A rendering of the Center for Health Sciences looking toward the site from Indianapolis Ave.

The Shake Learning Resource Center Innovation Room buzzed with excitement as architectural renderings and plans, outlining a facility designed to foster innovation and collaboration, were unveiled by Director of Architectural Services and Facilities Andrew Young. The new facility will house the Center for Active Learning, Nursing programs, Surgical Technology, Physical Therapist Assistant, Pharmacy Technology, and Funeral Service Education. It will be located on the site of the former Harrison Hall.

According to Young, VU will begin receiving bids in January 2024, and construction should start in February 2024. The center should open in the Fall of 2025.

"This is an exciting project for us," VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson said. "We have many crown jewels and this will be another jewel in the crown."

VU volleyball team stands in front of a large screen while one player holds a championship plaque.
The VU Volleyball team at Wednesday's meeting.

Following the overview of the new Health Sciences project, the Board reveled in the exceptional achievements of the VU Volleyball Team, which just concluded a history-making season. Their outstanding teamwork, victories, post-season honors, and high team GPA were celebrated. This fall, the Trailblazers achieved a 32-7 record, the most wins in program history since moving to the NJCAA Division I level, VU's third-straight undefeated Region 24 Championship, and they reached the NJCAA Midwest District A Championship game for the first time since moving to the NJCAA Division I level. Coach Gary Sien and the players in attendance were saluted with an exciting round of applause.

2023 Innovative Teaching Summit in Updike Hall.

As the meeting continued, a report on VU's fourth annual Innovative Teaching Summit by College of Social Science, Performing Arts, and Communication Dean Dr. Cynthia Ragle captured the Board’s attention. The recent summit, attended by 150 educators, teachers, administrators, and VU Education majors from diverse educational levels and backgrounds, showcased ideas and strategies related to supporting underserved populations, STEM, technology tools, and effective learning environments for all students. The summit offered a range of breakout sessions, including diverse topics such as the science of reading, supporting diverse learners, teacher and student well-being, STEM education, and educational technology. The event also featured a Technology Playground for hands-on learning.
 
VU Trustee and Vincennes Community School Corporation Superintendent Greg Parsley praised the University, Education Department, and VU Education students and graduates.
 
"The importance of the Education Department, just to the K-12 partners, not only in Knox County but in our region, we desperately need this program, and you are turning out some very strong students," Parsley said.
 
During the meeting, the Trustees elected officers. Reggie Henderson became First Vice Chair after most recently serving as Second Vice Chair. Scott Brand was elected Second Vice Chair. JR Gaylor will remain as Secretary.
 
The Trustees also unanimously approved a one-year extension of VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson’s employment contract. His contract will run through Dec. 31, 2026.

In other Board business,
·       The Board authorized the Finance and Revenue Committee to approve bids for the construction of the Center for Health Sciences and Active Learning.
·       The Board approved the program suspension of the Biomedical Equipment Technician Concentration and the program deletion of Restaurant and Food Service Management.
·       The Board heard updates from Senior Director of External Relations Sarah Fortune and Director of Admissions Sarah McLin.

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