Vincennes University's board of trustees has approved resolutions concerning multiple renovation projects. The efforts include upgrades at residence halls and technology centers in Vincennes and Indianapolis.

December 4, 2013

News Release

Vincennes, Ind. — The Vincennes University Board of Trustees approved a series of actions related to major renovation projects at Vincennes and Indianapolis facilities.

A $4.5 million residence hall bond resolution was approved for renovation projects for both Morris Residence Hall and Vanderburgh Residence Hall that were completed in October on the Vincennes Campus.

The project included complete upgrades of the HVAC systems in both residence halls and replacement of exterior windows in Vanderburgh Hall.

Morris Hall renovations included a complete electrical system upgrade, a new ADA compliant entry vestibule, and an upgrade to the building's exterior surface. The total cost of the renovations is about $7.4 million with some of the cost funded by Housing operating reserves.

The Board also approved giving authority to the Finance/Revenue Committee to approve bids for major renovations of the original part of the Technology Center on the Vincennes Campus and the Aviation Technology Center that is located at the Indianapolis International Airport.

Phil Rath, vice president for Financial Services and Government Relations, said that he is pleased with the number of companies bidding on both projects.

In other business, the Board received a report about enrollment from Kristi Deetz, senior director of External Relations. Deetz said that applications for the Spring Semester are currently running 16 percent ahead of last year. She said that a majority of the increase was from first-time freshmen.

Looking ahead to Fall 2014, Deetz said that campus visits and applications are up compared to last year. Citing the importance campus visitations to the recruitment process, Deetz said she is pleased that more than 2,400 students have visited this fall compared to 1,700 last year.

In addition to promoting campus visits, Deetz said she is pleased with a reorganization of the Office of Admissions, the introduction of additional communication points with prospective students, and the growing use of social media as part of the recruitment process. Deetz said these are important strategies that make her optimistic about enrollment growth.

The Board received a report about growing efforts to increase awareness about the University’s Tobacco Policy that restricts use to a few areas on campus. Provost Chuck Johnson a series of strategies have been introduced this semester, including more signage and the introduction of a mobile application to better inform the campus community.

Student trustee Casie Conley said she joined students for several Great American Smoke Out activities in November. She said thousands of cigarette butts were collected on campus and then displayed in Tecumseh Dining Center where students also distributed information and kits to help people quit smoking.

Board Chair J. R. Gaylor applauded efforts to increase awareness of the Tobacco Policy and he encouraged the campus community to continue such efforts.

Both Gaylor and VU President Dick Helton provided the Board an update on their work with the Indiana Career Council, a 16-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence charged with increasing coordination among those who work on the state’s education, jobs skills development and career training system.

Helton said it was created “to act with urgency” to close the skills gap.

Helton said he has been meeting weekly with a Council task force charged with identifying best practices nationally for community college education.

Helton said the task force’s report was approved at the Council’s Nov. 25 meeting. Both Gaylor and Helton said that VU will play a key role in addressing the skills gap in Indiana. Gaylor serves as a special advisor to the Indiana Career Council.

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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