College Update – May 2015

A special message from Dr. Sandy Shugart, Valencia College President

State Budget and Legislative Matters
As you may have read, the Florida Legislature has adjourned for the 2015 Session, but the House and Senate have not passed the 2015-2016 state budget. While this is somewhat unusual, it is not unprecedented. In years past, the House and Senate have frequently met in “special sessions” in May and June to iron out policy and budget differences. We are expecting this to occur in early June.

During the coming weeks, you may hear on the news that if no state budget is passed by July 1, 2015, that state government operations could be impacted. I want to reassure you, however, that we have made plans to handle this potential scenario. As for the new faculty and other positions being hired, we will ensure that funding is available for these as we prepare for the 2015-16 budget year.

Along with the budget impasse, many bills “died,” including several we were following such as the “guns on campus” and the “baccalaureate” bills. We will keep you posted as this process moves forward.

Vice President for Finance and Operations
After more than 10 years of service, Keith Houck is scheduled to retire – officially on July 31, 2015, but effective near the end of June. We will be celebrating Keith’s contributions soon.

Meanwhile, we have concluded a search for Keith’s successor, and I am pleased to announce that Mr. Loren Bender, CPA, will begin his service on June 1, 2015. Loren has served as vice president of finance for SeaWorld Orlando for a dozen years. He has a deep background, not only in finance, but also in operations, business analysis, auditing and other areas. I am grateful to the teams who assisted in the search and interview process and look forward to introducing Loren to all of you in the near future.

Reviewing Our Internal Communications
Communication within the College is an inherently complex process, and we recognize the important role of communication in helping us to accomplish our mission. So with this in mind, we have partnered with a third party to help us perform a review of our internal communications. This review will provide insight and direction that will allow us to determine what works well, what changes need to be made and how to enhance our communication processes.

We will gather this information over the next few months with surveys, interviews and focus groups, and your feedback and participation is integral to the process. You will be receiving additional information on how you can provide your input. Please read your email to stay abreast of how you can contribute.

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