College Update May 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

1.  Reorganization – Many of you are already aware that I have taken time over the past year to reconsider several aspects of Valencia’s organization, especially in Academic Affairs.  This work is progressing and I will have more to share with you in a few weeks.  For now, I am encouraged that despite our enormous growth and increasing complexity we can continue to foster an engaging environment for students, staff, and faculty, but only if we are willing to evolve toward more campus-based leadership and vision, especially in academic matters.  Much of the planning for reorganization with the newly titled “campus presidents,” assistant vice presidents, deans and others is designed to create a stronger role for campus vision and initiative within a framework of college values, culture and strategy.  The first indication many of you will see of this new direction will be the development of campus visions and plans under the leadership of your campus president.  I encourage you to participate in the processes they will roll out to you with all your energy and imagination. The work of those who serve the whole college is in no way diminished by this, but our roles may shift into a slightly different model of partnering with campus leaders to move the work forward.  Also, with Susan Kelley’s imminent retirement, we have had serious discussions about realigning some of the planning, grants, and related functions with academic leadership.  There is no replacing Susan and I won’t try.  But we are fashioning a position currently called Vice President for Academic Affairs and Planning that combines elements of two VP positions into one.

I will have much more to share with you in the coming weeks, but for now have one additional “announcement” concerning the organization.  Dr. Joan Tiller has agreed to come out of retirement for a time to serve as the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Planning beginning June 2…yes, next week!  She has played such an important part in the life of the college over the years and is the perfect person to shepherd us through the transition to a new organization in Academic Affairs.  We will begin a search for a more permanent leader in this area with the new calendar year.  Meanwhile, I know you will join me in welcoming Joan back and thanking her for putting Valencia ahead of her many other priorities in retirement.

2. Budget Matters – My sources tell me the Governor will sign the budget into law tomorrow morning.  This will enable Valencia’s 2011-2012 budget to go to the Board of Trustees at our June Board meeting.  As always, it has been developed with extensive collaboration.  We will recommend an 8% tuition increase (the replacement of state funds cut in the budget by tuition increases continues in Florida as in most states) and have built the budget on a plan to grow enrollment overall by about 4.5%.  Key priorities you will see in the budget recommendation include substantial “catch-up” on staffing for both tenure-track faculty and staff who serve students most directly; restoration of funds to travel and professional development; continued support to our instructional priorities;  support for two new bachelor degree programs; ongoing renewal of technology; and a 3% adjustment to pay for all full-time faculty and staff and certain eligible part-timers.  I am particularly grateful to the many of you who continue to practice exceptional stewardship – this is what allows us to continue to provide modest pay increases when many others can’t.  I realize this increase is offset by the state’s new requirement that employees contribute 3% of their salary to their retirement program, but I am thankful we could do this much.  We’ll share more detail after the June meeting of the Trustees, when we have an approved budget to implement.

Comments are closed.