Thursday, August 20, 2020
A Special Message from Sandy Shugart, Valencia College President
This morning, we experienced an Academic Assembly like no other. Our usual gathering of the faculty in the Performing Arts Center on East Campus evolved into a collegewide Zoom webinar. Although I’m sure some missed the coffee and pastries and, most of all, the in-person connections with friends, the opportunity to gather all of our colleagues in one conversation was extraordinary.
In the assembly this morning, Executive Vice President and Provost Kathleen Plinske, Faculty Association President Stanton Reed and I focused on both the critical near-term work of the fall semester in the midst of a pandemic, balanced with the careful examination and planning for our future in our next Impact Plan. You’ll find a complete summary of the assembly in next Tuesday’s edition of The Juice. As we concluded the assembly, I shared an update on leadership succession that I want to ensure you have each received.
Serving as the fourth president of Valencia College, being a part of this extraordinary team of faculty and staff, serving each student in a meaningful way and impacting our community has been a privilege beyond measure. This year has demonstrated more clearly to me the strength of purpose, the deep competence, the collaborative spirit, the love for students and the creativity of Valencia College like none other. And though we still have challenges to overcome as we continue to navigate the storms of a pandemic and its economic fallout, the College has a clear sense of mission and the confidence to achieve it. After much personal reflection, I believe it is the right time for Valencia’s District Board of Trustees to discern who should lead the College into the future.
I have informed the Board that it is my intention to retire effective at the end of this academic year and have encouraged them to launch a search for a new president this fall. We have an excellent Board that will conduct a wise, collaborative and effective search for the right leader. We have remarkable faculty, dedicated staff and a deeply experienced leadership team on which to build. Personally, and for Valencia, this is the right time to begin a transition.
There will be time for farewells and memories in the spring term. For now, I will just say that serving with all of you at Valencia College has been the most important, gratifying and humbling work of my life and career. I am grateful beyond words to and for all of you. And I plan to finish this, my 21st year as president, with the same commitment to our students and to each of you.