Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Valencia College’s District Board of Trustees discussed the Dual Enrollment program during its Thursday, September 23, 2021, meeting.
The number of students participating in Dual Enrollment, which has grown significantly over the past five years, now represents more than 10% of the College’s headcount. Last year, through this program, more than 400 students completed an associate degree at Valencia at the same time they complete high school.
In addition to hearing about the demographics of students participating in dual enrollment, as well as dual enrollment student outcomes, the board learned about the financial impacts of dual enrollment. While the College collects a total of $71.98 per credit hour from our local school districts for dual enrolled students in fall and spring, non-dual enrolled, associate-level students pay $103.06 per credit hour.
Other meeting topics included the following:
Fund Balance Spending Plan
Each Florida College System institution with full-time enrollment of 15,000 or greater for the prior year, which has an operating fund that carries forward a balance in excess of 7%, must submit to the state a spending plan for its excess carry forward balance. Currently, Valencia maintains $11.8 million in operating carry-forward funds. The board approved the following plan to reduce the amount of our operating fund balance to 7% or $17.5 million.
Land/Facility Acquisition – Offices and Parking ($6.8 million)
The College has a purchase option in the lease agreement between the District Board of Trustees and the Valencia College Foundation allowing the College to purchase the District Office property for a payment equal to the Foundation’s cost basis, the amount of which has been predetermined in the lease agreement. The College will begin discussions with the Foundation to discuss the appropriate timing of the College’s exercise of the option. The College currently owns the parcel of vacant land immediately adjacent to the District Office building, located on the corner of Metrowest Boulevard and South Hiawassee Road. The purchase option will provide the opportunity to combine the building parcel and the connected land parcel to create one larger, unified parcel with enhanced property value.
Health Care Costs ($1.9 million)
Valencia is self-insured for the health care services provided to employees, families and retirees. Throughout the pandemic, the College has absorbed significant health care costs not covered by federal grant funding. To continue to meet the health care needs of College employees, a onetime non-recurring infusion of funds will maintain sufficient health care liability coverage.
Business Process Improvement ($1.8 million)
Due to the pandemic, the College made significant changes in service operations to serve students in a virtual environment, for example, enrollment, advising, graduation, transcripts, etc. The changes made were successful but did not address the longer term challenges presented in a complex, hybrid service model. This funding will allow a professional business process review that will be conducted by a qualified expert. This fund request will finance both the consultant and the estimated costs associated with funding the implementation of the consultant’s recommendations.
Information Technology Cyber Security and Hardware ($1.3 million)
The College maintains a number of secured areas for networking equipment throughout the College. This funding will be used to purchase locks for these areas and to replace equipment that is near the end of its life.
The McCoy Center
The McCoy Center, located near the Orlando International Airport was acquired by Valencia College in 1975 from the federal government for $728, and now is under lease by a charter school.
As this property is no longer needed by Valencia for college educational or ancillary purposes, the board approved to dispose of the McCoy land and building and move forward with negotiations for possible sale of the property. Next, the College will submit the amended plant survey information for the removal of the McCoy site to the State Board of Education for its approval.
Microsoft Identity Consolidation Project
Valencia uses a Microsoft Azure and Active Directory for identity management and authentication. Due to the pandemic, the increase in remote access has introduced new challenges, and attempts to access those web-accessible systems and data through phishing or hacking have significantly increased. The board authorized the College to contract with Microsoft Consulting Services, at a cost of approximately $825,000, to be funded by Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act federal funds, for services to improve the reliability of the College’s identity services and improve the security of the accounts managed by these identity services.
College President Kathleen Plinske recognized former trustee Bruce Carlson for his dedication to Valencia. He served on the board since 2013 and was elected as chair from 2017-2019. His term on the board ended in July 2021.
She also shared that trustee Angel de la Portilla was selected as part of the inaugural class of the Orlando Business Journal’s Power Players and that trustee John Davis was recognized as one of Florida’s most impactful and influential men during ONYX Magazine’s Men of Honor Awards.
In addition, Dr. Plinske recognized the more than decade-long partnership that Osceola County has had with Valencia College. This includes the county funding $1.3 million for a Valencia College scholarship program that provided a $500 scholarship for up to 2,000 Osceola County residents who started as a degree or certificate program in the Fall 2021 term, as well as contributions to help build Osceola Campus’ Building 4, the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center and a donation of the land for the Poinciana Campus. Dr. Plinske also shared that it was a county commissioners’ meeting discussion in 2012 that sparked the research that led to the “Got College?” movement. A brief video thanking Osceola County for its partnership was premiered:
Fall Semester Update
During her President’s report, Dr. Plinske provided a fall semester update, which included a review of the College’s efforts to prioritize the health and safety of our students, employees and community, while supporting the continuity of our students’ learning, our robust contract tracing efforts, and that hiring 270 visiting professors has allowed for physical distancing in our classrooms, resulting in an average, in-person class size of 10 students. She also introduced the new #VaccinatedValencians campaign that encourages students to get vaccinated and shared that the College continues to partner with the Florida Department of Health to be a vaccination site so we can provide easy access for students, employees and the community to get vaccinated.
During the fall semester, nearly 40% of students are taking classes in person, on campus. Overall, we have seen a decline in student headcount of 7.4% and of full-time enrollment of 9.4% compared to last fall, which is consistent to what other community colleges across the state and country are experiencing. View the fall enrollment report here.
Approval of Student Fee Waivers/Deferred Student Fees
Trustees authorized the College to defer the payment of student fees as allowed by law when organizations pay fees directly on behalf of students who may be their employees, or in cases when a governmental unit guarantees the payment of student fees after the drop period. Partnerships and payment arrangements will be made with each business, industry or governmental partner, and the College will obtain a formal agreement or acknowledgment of the payment programs and funds collection process.
In addition, the board acknowledged and ratified the waiver of the late student registration fees for the fall term, as presented here.
Classroom and Conference Room Technology Services
In June 2021, the College issued a request for proposal (RFP) to procure a turnkey collegewide hardware and service provider for the purchase, installation, support, repair and servicing of all system components for classroom and conference room technology services. Five firms submitted proposals, a public evaluation was held in August 2021 and a committee scored and ranked the proposals. The board approved the evaluation committee’s recommendation to award the RFP for two years — with three, one-year options to renew — to LMG, Inc. for the provision of classroom and conference room technology services, collegewide.
Update on Organizational Structure and Provost Searches
Dr. Plinske shared our new academic leadership structure designed to support the College’s Strategic Impact Plan— along with its four campus provost positions and one provost of career and professional programs — and that the College is currently recruiting for all five roles. The goal is to have provosts join the College in the beginning of 2022.
Trustees toured Osceola Campus, including the heavy equipment simulator outside the Center for Accelerated Training and the Engineering Technology, Mechatronics and Property Management programs in the Careers in Industry and Technology building.
Valencia College Foundation Report
During the 2020-2021 academic year, the Valencia College Foundation disbursed $5 million for student scholarships, student pandemic relief and college programs. Over the past 10 years, the foundation has distributed $38.9 million in support of Valencia students and faculty. View the full report.
Osceola Campus Report
Osceola Campus Student Government Association (SGA) leaders provided an update on SGA activities, including serving on the President’s Advisory Board, holding a vaccination town hall for students to encourage vaccinations and creating a Why I Wear My Mask Instagram campaign.
The Osceola Campus report included an update on the campus’ Careers in Industry and Technology building and its Accelerated Skills Training Center.
Faculty Association Report
Faculty Association President Michael Robbins provided the board an overview of the Faculty Association’s role at the College and that his goal is to align the association with changes happening at the College.
The next District Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. at the Downtown Campus, Doctor Phillips Academic Commons (DPAC) Room 106A and via Zoom.