Vincennes University trustees have amended a previously-approved budget to allow for larger potential merit pay increases. University workers will be eligible for up to 3 percent raises for the 2014-2015 academic year.

June 26, 2014

News Release

Vincennes, Ind. — The Vincennes University Board of Trustees amended a budget adopted last year, making VU employees eligible for up to a 3 percent merit pay increase. The budget adopted last year had restricted the merit increase to 2 percent for the 2014-15 year.

Phil Rath, vice president for Financial Services and Governmental Affairs, said that the University could afford the increase due to more retirements than anticipated. He said the increase was justified since, relative to other state colleges, VU’s staffing levels are thinner and VU’s teaching loads are higher.

Rath also updated the Board on plans for VU to hire a nurse practitioner and nurse to staff an employee clinic that is being developed in the Young Building on Fourth Street. The clinic will be in partnership with Good Samaritan Hospital. Rath said that work on the clinic is about 98 percent complete and roll-out plans to introduce the clinic to employees will begin soon.

“This is a new approach to how we address health care. Promoting wellness among our employees will be an important component. I am very excited about it,” Rath said.

In other action, the Board approved an amendment to VU’s Tobacco Policy that treats the use of electronic-cigarettes identically to tobacco use, restricting use to only designated areas. Provost Chuck Johnson said the amendment is similar to action approved by the University of Southern Indiana. He said it would “aid the overall enforcement of the policy.”

The Board also received a report from Darrin Deal, Princeton, about the development by students of a smart phone app to inform persons about the VU Tobacco Policy and the restricted areas designated for tobacco use. Deal led a team of three students that won a competition sponsored by the VU information technology club. Deal received his associate degree in Information Technology last spring, is currently serving an IT internship with OFS Corp. in Huntingburg, and is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at VU.

The Board also:

–increased by $2 the amount employees will be reimbursed for meals while on University business, according to the VU travel policy.

–approved the installation of a plaque on the clock tower at the corner of Second and St. Clair streets, requested by the family of the late James Hill, recognizing his leadership in Sigma Phi Fraternity.

–approved clarifications to the Professional Staff Congress by-laws.

–approved granting permission to the Finance/Revenue Committee to approve contracts for the development of a firing range that will be used in conjunction with law enforcement programs.

The VU Board also received a positive enrollment report from Kristi Deetz, senior director for External Relations, that shows that accepted applications for the Vincennes Campus is just over 5,300 students–up 6.9 percent compared to last year. The VU Jasper Campus is up 10 students in applications. She also reported that housing contracts are up 209 compared to last year with 1,900 students planning to move into seven residence halls and University-owned apartments.

Deetz said that participation in START VU registration days for incoming students total 1,602 students, the highest level in 12 years.

In other reports, both Board Chair J.R. Gaylor and VU President Dick Helton said that increased emphasis on workforce development on the state and federal level could be good news for VU. Speaking about the strategic plan of the Indiana Career Council, Gaylor said he believes “this could be transformational for the state.” He said it will be presented to the legislature in July.

VINCENNES UNIVERSITY – Indiana's First College

VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper and additional sites such as Indianapolis and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics. VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.

In addition to offering 200 associate degree and certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.

VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 28 other states, and 30 countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana Territory. More information is available at

Source: Vincennes University

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