After more than a decade on the job, Vincennes University President Dick Helton says he will retire in July. He and his wife Cindy plan to move to Ohio to support a daughter fighting health issues. Trustee Board Chair J.R. Gaylor says Helton has been a “transformational leader” since arriving at Indiana's first college in 2004. During an interview in March on Inside INdiana Business Television, Helton discussed one of the VU's major areas of focus during his tenure: skills training. Helton is currently the longest-serving president at any of the state's public colleges or universities.
Gaylor says Helton is a “personal example” of the school's motto “Learn in order to serve.”
Under his guidance, officials say VU has recorded continuous growth during the last eight years. Enrollment totals more than 19,000 and surpassed a record in 2014.
The university has campuses in Jasper and Vincennes and an aerospace technology center in Indianapolis. VU has agreements with other institutions of higher learning throughout the state, most recently Purdue University and WGU Indiana.
Helton has also helped drive multiple partnerships with manufacturers in the state including Toyota Motor Manufacturing Inc. in Princeton and Indianapolis-based Hurco Companies Inc. (Nasdaq: HURC).
Helton says, “I've had such a strong passion for public education, and a real passion for VU's niche – a special niche – in higher education. As I think about all of the associations I've had over the years, I can't think of an institution that has been more important to our state as well as students who have come to us from other states. Every student who comes here gets our full effort.