VU Board of Trustees discusses initiatives to bolster enrollment

Local News
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VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The Vincennes University Board of Trustees heard reports during its Thursday meeting on increased scholarship offers and recently launched strategic enrollment initiatives to assist and attract students as they navigate this challenging time. 

According to VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson, who referenced the national trends in enrollment due to the pandemic, “We are cautiously optimistic that we can get to an endpoint where overall enrollment will be flat or a little bit higher. From there we have many efforts to allow us to build toward future growth. We have so much tremendous energy going on with the partnerships and programs we have and with our work in Admissions and External Relations.”

VU is doing its part to reach out and assist students and their families by offering $10,000 Residential Opportunity Scholarships for all new students and eligible returning students on the Vincennes Campus. In addition, through federal stimulus funds, VU will allocate additional funds for scholarships offered to students at all VU sites and locations. The University is also extending non-resident scholarships to students from the neighboring states of Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan, joining Illinois residents in qualifying for in-state tuition.

“We want to bring talent to Indiana and get them involved with our employers and our programs,” Johnson said. “This is a good opportunity for VU, particularly with the quality of many of the employer-driven programs with great careers that make VU an attractive option for students across the Midwest.”

Senior Director of External Relations Sarah Fortune said VU is offering more virtual recruitment events and has added to the Admissions team, which includes new Interim Admissions Director Brenda Knebel. Knebel’s focus will be to help lead the Admissions team’s efforts to recruit the fall 2021-2022 class, finish the implementation of the new Slate customer relationship management system, and begin planning for the 2022-2023 recruiting season.

Knebel was introduced to the Board during the meeting. She comes to VU from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, a leading accreditor of business schools, where she served in the roles of Manager of Accreditation Services and IT Applications Manager. Before joining AACSB, Knebel was at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, as Director of Admissions, Manager of Marketing and Recruitment and Associate Director for Accreditation and Assurance of Learning. 

In other business, the Board approved a new Drone/Unmanned Aircraft Systems certification that allows students and individuals to confidently take and pass the FAA pilots license for UAS/Drone. 

The Board celebrated Indoor Track and Field National Champions Matteo Capello and Makinzi Meurer, head track and field coach Chris Gafner and retiring assistant track and field Coach Tim Marsee. Including Capello and Meurer, Marsee has coached a total of 19 national champions, 11 runners-up, more than 50 national placers, and numerous national meet and school record holders. Marsee’s outstanding record has garnered him six NJCAA National Assistant Coach of the Year and three Region Assistant Coach of the Year awards.  

Head women’s basketball coach and VU Athletic Director Harry Meeks was also recognized for notching his 700th win in March and his induction in NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

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