Campus Safety and Security a Hot Topic During February 2018 District Board of Trustees Meeting

More than 300 Valencia graduates, 60 current students and 20 applicants attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, shared District Board of Trustees Chair Bruce Carlson during the Wednesday, February 28, 2018, District Board of Trustees meeting at the Osceola Campus. He continued with a thank you to faculty and staff for sending hand-written notes to Valencia’s current students who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas, as well as those who have applied, sharing our support.

College President Sandy Shugart added to the conversation about the ongoing efforts at Valencia to provide safe campuses. He explained that over the past several years, we’ve added deeply experienced, senior-level law enforcement leaders to our Security team. Those senior leaders alone have 135 years of law enforcement and corrections experience. Dr. Shugart also shared details on our safety and security including:

  • 24 hours a day, seven-days a week, 52-weeks a year security coverage on our campuses;
  • 120 security personnel, 51 full-time and 69 part-time, as well as off-duty police officers on campuses;
  • 561 monitored cameras on our campuses;
  • The new Valencia College Safety app;
  • The Behavior Assessment Team that reviews threatening behavior, assesses potential issues and takes action to reduce risk;
  • VIPER (Valencia Interoperable Partners Emergency Response) training exercises with federal, state and local agencies to practice responses to simulated emergency scenarios. We’ve held one on West Campus and one on East Campus; and
  • Because of our Security leadership, we are deeply connected to the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange, an all-crimes, all-hazards fusion center in Central Florida that is designed to exchange information and intelligence, maximize resources, streamline operations and improve the ability to fight crime and terrorism by analyzing data from a variety of sources.

In addition to the security conversation, the District Board of Trustees reviewed a myriad of agenda items as this was the first meeting in 2018.

Board Welcomes New Trustee 
The District Board of Trustees introduced a new trustee, Tracey Stockwell, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Universal Orlando. Before joining Universal Orlando in 1997, she worked at Price Waterhouse. Also currently serving as treasurer of the Universal Orlando Foundation, Tracey is a member of the Florida Institute of CFOs and has served in a variety of roles in the Orlando Economic Partnership. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. She is both a Florida Certified Public Accountant as well as an Ontario Chartered Accountant.

Future Banking Partner: CFE Federal Credit Union
The Board of Trustees authorized Valencia to award an ITN (intent to negotiate) to CFE Federal Credit Union, to serve as a student and employee financial/banking partner. This partnership will include special benefits for students and employees, such as increased number of ATMs on all campuses and:

Students

  • An extensive financial literacy program that promotes responsible money management through budgeting and other positive financial habits;
  • Exclusive account options with no monthly minimum balance fee or membership fee and services, such as free money orders and four foreign (non-CFE) ATM withdrawals per month;
  • Discounted auto loans after completing a financial literacy course for qualification;
  • Options for students who have a poor credit history;
  • CFE will build a student-run micro branch with students engaged to operate the branch on a paid basis; and
  • CFE will offer other internship opportunities to Valencia students.

Employees

  • No membership fees;
  • Education website with resources and articles;
  • Direct deposit;
  • Discounted auto loans; and
  • Free online banking.

As the partnership is developed, more information will be shared with employees and students.

Acquisition of Property Adjacent to Osceola Campus 
The Board approved Valencia College, in partnership with the City of Kissimmee and Osceola County, to purchase a four-acre parcel located in front of the Osceola Campus on Highway 192. Acquiring this parcel would allow the Osceola Campus to be directly connected to a pedestrian bridge and walkway/bike trail that is being developed by the City of Kissimmee and will connect to downtown Kissimmee on the south side of Highway 192.

The parcel will be purchased from the current owner by Osceola County, and then the County will convey the title of the property to Valencia, excluding the portion of the parcel upon which the landing of the pedestrian bridge will be located. Valencia will be responsible for maintenance of the parcel as part of the Osceola Campus, while the City of Kissimmee and Osceola County will be responsible for building the bridge. Valencia’s cost for the project will be up to $400,000. For images of the land and bridge, click here.

Renovation of East Campus Building 1B
With the relocation of some offices and classrooms to the new School of Arts and Entertainment Building, now East Campus’ Building 1B will be renovated. The Board of Trustees approved awarding the renovation contract to Oelrich Construction, subject to the negotiation of a mutually beneficial contract. The renovation will be completed for fall 2019 classes.

Ethical Conduct and Performance Policy
Modifications were approved to Valencia’s Ethical Conduct and Performance Policy to clarify that the College’s policy on ethical conduct and performance prohibits romantic or sexual relationships between supervisors and their supervised employees, or faculty members and their students during the time that the supervisor or faculty member has direct supervision or any influence on the staff member’s or student’s academic or professional progress. To read the approved revisions to the policy and its implementing procedures, click here. More information about these important revisions will be announced in an upcoming issue of The Juice.

SACSCOC Visits the Poinciana Campus
Representatives from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) visited the Poinciana Campus as part of our work to receive branch campus designation. The purpose of the visit was to make sure that the Poinciana Campus is in compliance with the requirements of SACSCOC, as well as to receive feedback on opportunities for improvement. The committee was impressed with the campus and provided no recommendations.

Helping Students Affected by Hurricane Maria 
Valencia has provided support for students relocating to Central Florida from Puerto Rico due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria. So far, 426 students have joined Valencia from Puerto Rico, and, of those students, 200 are degree-seeking. We are working with Orange County Public Schools and the School District of Osceola County to advocate for students who have relocated and who may be coming to Valencia in fall 2018.

Remembering Valencia Employees
With the unusual loss of four of our current employees in just three months, Dr. Shugart asked the Board and all attendees to participate in a moment of silence to remember Mary Kay BergJackie Otto MillerColin Archibald and Dawn Sedik.

For more information on the meeting, click here.

The next District Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. on the Winter Park Campus in Rooms 225-226.

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