• Goal One Essay: Build Pathways

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    by Sandy Shugart
    October 2009

    Deepening Our Commitment To Access

    What has made Valencia a “better place to start” for more than forty years? There are many ways to answer this question, but as we have discussed this with hundreds of faculty, staff, and students over the past two years of planning, four cornerstones have emerged: access, excellence in teaching and learning, amazing colleagues in collaboration, and powerful partnerships. These will continue to serve as cornerstones of our shared work, but we have discovered that each will require renewal, a fresh commitment to stretch ourselves and our vision to serve students in the coming several years.

    In this and three essays to follow, I will explore the substance of our 2008-13 strategic plan by revisiting each of these four cornerstones and relating them to the directions emerging from our strategic planning. You will find the documents relating to the college’s strategic plan on the web at http://valenciacc/strategicplan. The full plan can be found at http://valenciacc.edu/strategicplan/documents/StratPlanBOOKMARKED_000.pdf

  • Mary Collier Inspires and Enables Achievement

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    One of my favorite people in the world, Mary Collier, also happens to be an unseen hero to countless students who have benefited from her leadership and contributions to the Valencia Foundation. Funding she helped to establish enables Valencia graduates go on to UCF, UF, USF, FSU and many more institutions nationwide.

    In 1982 Mary Collier was named Valencia’s first Distinguished Graduate. A non-traditional student, she went back to college after raising her children. Today, she and her family are among the staunchest supporters of the college and largest donors to our foundation.

    A foundation board member for more than 20 years, she has served two terms as its president. Mary’s story continues to inspire those who may at first be tentative at the prospect of going back to school. She truly lives by her belief: “Anything you can imagine…you can do.” Much of what Valencia is able to imagine and do is beause of people like Mary Collier.

    — Sandy Shugart

  • Jerry Cochran Started Valencia’s Recycling Program

    Monday, October 19, 2009


    Some Valencia heroes are just quietly doing their jobs, making a difference in students’ lives. Others are making their mark on our planet, or at least our little corner of the planet. By his own initiative, Jerry Cochran started Valencia’s recycling programs on all our campuses. That’s how the world gets changed: One person at a time doing the very best he or she can.

    — Sandy Shugart

  • College Update: A Note of Thanks

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    by Sandy Shugart September 22, 2009 We’re off to one of the most interesting semesters in recent memory. Thanks to many…

  • President Shugart Addresses Faculty and Staff at Academic Assembly 2009

    Sunday, August 30, 2009

    2009 Academic Assembly Speech

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  • Lucky

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    There are times I need to pinch myself
    to prove this isn’t just a dream,
    this work that reaches right down
    through the rich loam of rhythm and harmony
    to the roots of joy and shakes
    the whole tree of my existence
    with laughter and apprehension that
    no matter how hard we play
    this can’t last.
    And, of course, there are times when it
    feels like going through the motions.
    Not that we’re phoning it in, but
    there just isn’t anything happening.
    The notes are all there in the
    correct combination’s, the right order,
    but there’s no connection, no groove,
    no conversation, no jazz…
    But if I keep playing, keep trusting,
    the hollow performance eventually serves
    only to intensify the real music,
    when it happens. And it will happen
    When the planets align, or the gods condescend,
    Or the fundamental particles resonate with
    The wave of the co-creation
    Which is to say
    it feels, I feel so incredibly
    lucky to be here in the endlessly unfolding work;
    So lucky not to be going
    through the motions of all the other
    jobs and careers and options
    to which I might have been resigned;
    So lucky to be here with you
    who also know the rush when it
    all comes together;
    So lucky to have learned, the more I practice,
    The luckier I get.

    © Sanford C. Shugart

  • Brickwork

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    It wasn’t a work I had chosen, but
    I was young and the job came to hand
    like each new, rasp-edged brick
    and I was taken with the
    challenge of the craft.
    Head-down to lay to a line
    straight and square, feeling the
    grain of baked earth and
    handling the sanded mud with
    quick, smart flicks and jabs,
    a precision boxer working a square ring,
    mastering tools and letting them
    master me: hammer, level and trowel.
    Focusing, focusing until every
    cell is in the rhythm, speed,
    economy of motion, each brick
    leading to the next, no hesitation,
    no space between the notes and
    all notes the same,
    brick to brick, course on course,
    year stacked on
    year until I take on the very
    texture of brick, the grit of mortar
    rigid joints and flat face of the wall
    no view but the brick,
    no plan but the brick,
    no dream but the brick

    and then

    the walls, at last,
    connect and there is
    nothing to do but to set the
    iron bars in the
    tiny, high window
    and wait for
    the end.

    © February 2003, Sanford C. Shugart

  • College Update: Budget Approved for 2009-2010

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    by Sandy Shugart June 16, 2009 This morning, the Board of Trustees approved an operating budget for the college for the…

  • College Update: Looming Budget Cuts for 2009-2010

    Friday, April 24, 2009

    by Sandy Shugart April 24, 2009 Most of you have heard or read about the reaction of the state university presidents …

  • College Update: Investing in Each Other

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    by Sandy Shugart February 25, 2009 I thought last week’s Learning Day was one of the best yet and want to…