About External Relations


The Department of External Relations (ER) develops and executes data-based recruitment strategies for the Vincennes Campus; establishes processes that set the basis for system-wide admissions; collaborates with Institutional Research to track enrollment, pinpoint shifts, and identify changing student populations; manages University branding, awareness, and strategic marketing; provides the services of an in-house agency for the production of advertising and promotional materials; generates public information communications and news releases; promotes VU athletics; offers ombudsman services and specialized communications to VU parents and families; coordinates special events such as dedications, commencements, conferences, and camps; partners with the University webmaster and other offices to generate the institution’s online web presence through www.vinu.edu, www.govutrailblazers.com, and social media outlets; and maintains strong collaborative relationships throughout the University system and with external organizations.


The External Relations department can be found in Governor's Hall next to Admissions.

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External Relations Staff & Services


Kristi R. Deetz, Senior Director


The position of senior director of external relations is responsible for providing leadership for all programs and services of university relations, marketing, events, and enrollment management, including admissions. 



Heidi Whitehead, Director


The Admissions Office is responsible for recruiting students and coordinating/supporting campus-wide recruitment efforts. The Admissions staff visits high schools; participates in college and career fairs; sponsors special visitation days; coordinates the campus open-house program (PreVU); hosts regional programs for high school counselors, students, parents, and other key stakeholders; coordinates student telecommunications and tour guide staff; meets with individual students and families; answers mail and phone inquiries; coordinats all communications with prospective students; and supports faculty and staff in recruitment and retention efforts.



Jennifer Houchins, MPA, Director


The Creative Director manages and executes all University marketing activities under the direction of Vincennes University’s Senior Director of External Relations. The position is focused on formulating innovative concepts that support the VU brand, marketing, recruitment, and online development goals. The Creative Director will provide direction to the marketing services director, as well as, be the lead producer of audio/video productions and contribute to web management and content generation. The Creative Director is responsible for all social media marketing efforts and helping with increased awareness of the University brand translates to increased awareness of the university’s programs and the potential for increased enrollment.


Andrea Tscherter, Director of Marketing Services


The primary directive of Marketing Services is to enhance and maintain the integrity of the University brand in all External Relations materials. Proper presentation of the brand works to establish an accurate perception of the University’s role in Indiana’s educational system. This position also handles all creative design, artwork and printing support.




Brandi Porter, Director


The Office of Parent and Family Services encourages and supports the growth and development of the whole student by providing programs and support services to parents and families of VU students. These services complement students’ academic and personal development and success. The Office of Parent and Family Services amplifies the overall mission of the University through resources that promote outreach, leadership, diversity, critical thinking, social interaction, and community.



Cindy A. Beaman, Director


The Office of University Events and Special Projects focuses on marketing the University as a host site for events, camps, conferences, and other special projects. All multi-day reservations are made through this office for large-scale events that use multiple venues and services, such as meeting rooms, special event space, residence hall accommodations, catering, audio-visual needs, and parking. The office serves as the central point of contact for both internal and external clients, providing accurate information and handling requests for conferences, camps, meetings, and events.



Vickie Puffer, Communications Coordinator and Online Newsroom Manager


The VU News Team facilitates media access to campus leaders and newsmakers, topical experts, news releases, and photos. The staff provides assistance for breaking news, current trends, public opinion, or research. The mission of the office is to plan, design, manage, implement, monitor, and evaluate specific programs intended to enhance the overall image, communications, reputation, perception, competitive positioning, and understanding of Vincennes University and its programs and issues among external and key constituencies.



TRIO is a set of federally funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. Vincennes University offers Project ASPIREE (Achieving Success through Participation in Reaching Educational Excellence), Upward Bound, and Educational Talent Search.