A special message from Sandy Shugart, Valencia College President
Yesterday, June 22, 2016, Valencia’s District Board of Trustees approved the budget for the upcoming year. This budget proposal was developed over many months with input from across the College and, like budgets in years past, it is anchored in our commitments to student learning and growing the underlying health of Valencia.
There was no increase in student tuition or fees, but, as I shared in my April update, we have continued to work closely with our legislators to increase funding for Valencia through revisions to the funding formula and through performance funding — additional money awarded to high-performing state colleges.
I am pleased to share that, once again, we have been ranked as a “gold college,” which is the highest achievable performance funding level. This is our best financial situation in some years and is due to several things: an outstanding year for Valencia in the legislature enabling us to make up some ground in funding equity, earning the state’s top-ranked college category for performance funding, as well as being one of only two colleges selected for additional funding as a Distinguished College, a very strong performance in Global, Continuing and Professional Education and, lastly, your excellent stewardship throughout the College.
Specifically, the newly approved budget provides for the health of the College by investing in strategic initiatives, including:
- $1.7 million for the addition of 21 new faculty positions
- $600,000 for the first stage implementation of the online learning plan, including nine positions and operating expenses to support the program
- $600,000 to further equip and staff the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center
- $500,000 to support year two of advising in LifeMap 2.0 with the addition of 21 advising positions beginning January 2017
- $500,000 to enhance our data systems and security efforts
- $400,000 to fund short-term job training and technical skill programs supporting job growth in the construction field, as well as in fire safety, intensive English and emergency responders
- Start-up funds for the Poinciana Campus, including salary expenses and build of a learning laboratory to support training and continuing education initiatives
- Hiring an executive dean and operations manager for the UCF-Valencia Downtown Campus
- Provisions for the Tech Express initiative with the addition of two advisors to coordinate the connection between Orange County Public Schools, Orlando Tech and Valencia
In addition, the budget provides $3.8 million toward pay raises, to be effective in August, including a:
- 4 percent increase in compensation to eligible part-time staff, annually appointed faculty, part-time faculty and overload pay
- 4 percent increase in compensation to eligible full-time staff (employees at or above the maximum of the pay grade will receive a lump sum payment equivalent)
- One full step, plus a 2.03 percent adjustment to the baseline (an average increase of 4 percent) for tenured and tenure-track faculty
All of this has been done while sun-setting the Retirement Incentive Program, and without any increase in tuition. I am grateful to the Board for recognizing the hard and fruitful work of the faculty and staff and for investing in our continued efforts to improve student learning and progression.
On the heels of this great news, I’d also like to share with you that we began the search for the Vice President of Student Affairs and, as a part of the search, two candidates were invited to visit Valencia and participate in open forums this week to share their experience, thoughts on leadership and answer questions posed by faculty, staff and students. Hopefully, you had an opportunity to engage in the process and provide your feedback on each of the candidates. We hope to make a decision this summer in preparation for a fall start.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to give my thanks to all who played a role in this year’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 8, 2016, our largest to-date with more than 1,500 graduates. Even in the wake of the recent tragedy, it’s important to remember our students, their pride in their accomplishments and in Valencia, a place which many have come to know as family.
Thank you for all you do to assure the very best learning environment for our students and for making Valencia one of the best colleges in the nation.