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6/26/2014 4:28:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
VU amends merit pay raise policy
VINCENNES - 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 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.

(See Thursday's print edition for complete story)


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