District Board of Trustees Celebrates Walt Disney World Partnership

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

In celebration of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, Valencia College’s District Board of Trustees thanked the company for its ongoing partnership with the College, during its Thursday, October 28, 2021, meeting. College President Kathleen Plinske acknowledged that Disney has been a partner with Valencia’s Hospitality and Culinary Arts program for more than 20 years — most recently making a $1.5 million investment in the Walt Disney World Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality at the Downtown Campus. Additionally, Walt Disney World has invested in its cast members through the Disney Aspire Program, in which 400 students have completed associate degrees and nearly 30 students have completed bachelor’s degrees at Valencia.

“We see the impact that Disney has on our community each and every day and are so grateful for it,” Dr. Plinske shared. “For many of our students, Walt Disney World provides their first job, and for many of our graduates, Walt Disney World provides their dream job, particularly for students in our Hospitality and Culinary Arts program as well as our Arts program in Arts and Entertainment.”

To show the College’s thanks, Dr. Plinske presented two gifts, which were accepted by Tajiana Ancora-Brown, Walt Disney World director, external affairs: a creation by a student in Valencia’s Welding program, and a video that captures the impact of the partnership:

Student Services Business Process Redesign 
In August 2021, the College issued an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN), which sought experts in the field of student services and associated technologies to review the service operations and assess options for the future of Valencia’s student services. The Student Services Business Process Redesign will improve our students’ ability to navigate complex administrative processes from admissions to graduation. The board authorized the College to award ITN 2022-04, Student Services Business Process Redesign, to CampusWorks, Inc.

New Multi-campus Vehicle Wayfinding Signage 
Trustees authorized the College to enter into an agreement with Problocki Sign Company, LLC for the purchase and installation of vehicle wayfinding signage, which will replace all vehicle wayfinding signs collegewide, as many signs have deteriorated and require an update. To view the planned signage, view the board presentation.

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value Air Filters 
As a result of COVID-19 and the focus on increasing air quality, the College transitioned to filters with Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings to indicate how effectively the filters stop dust and other contaminants from passing through the filters and into the air.

The trustees authorized the College to award an Invitation to Bid (ITB) 2022-02, Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) Air Filters, to Andrews Filter & Supply Corp. The award of the ITB will establish a contractual relationship between Valencia and the vendor enabling the College to purchase MERV filters on an as-needed basis and at a discount off published catalog, price lists or retail pricing. The College will award a nonexclusive contract for a one year initial term with the option to renew for four additional one-year periods up to a cumulative total of five years, at a cost that may range up to $200,000 per year.

Health Insurance Liability Funding 
Valencia College is self-insured for the healthcare services provided to employees, families and retirees. Throughout the pandemic, the College has absorbed significant health care costs not covered by federal grant funding. With the board’s prior approval of the College’s state-approved Fund Balance Spending Plan, the board approved the transfer of $1.9 million from the operating fund balance to the Health Insurance Liability account maintained on the College’s balance sheet.

Faculty Governance Update 
Faculty Association President Michael Robbins provided a faculty governance update and introduced Downtown Campus Faculty Assembly President and Professor of English Nick Bekas and Faculty Assembly Past President and Professor of Math Roberta Carew to discuss their experience working at the Downtown Campus. They explained that the Downtown Campus had a challenging start in their opening year with a hurricane in the fall and the outbreak of a global pandemic in the spring. All Valencia campuses closed due to the pandemic. But now the campus is reopening and Nick and Roberta shared that Downtown Campus faculty are excited to be back and to continue their work of building partnerships with their neighboring communities and the University of Central Florida (UCF).

2030 Strategic Impact Plan: Career Credentials 
Dr. Plinske presented on Valencia’s Strategic Impact Plan, specifically about the goal on career credentials. View the presentation.

Downtown Campus Report 

The Downtown Campus report highlighted the Walt Disney World Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality. Additionally, prior to the board meeting, trustees participated in a pre-meeting experience in which they toured the center and made chocolate roses in the culinary lab.

Downtown Campus Student Governance Association (SGA) Vice President Nomar Leiva presented the SGA report and explained that on the Downtown Campus, there is a continued commitment to creating a joint experience for Valencia and University of Central Florida (UCF) students, for example, students are invited to attend Valencia’s Spirt Week as well as UCF’s Homecoming Week.

Nomar also shared that students collegewide have expressed a desire to identify a Valencia mascot to boost institutional pride. The project has been proposed to Dr. Plinske and will be done in partnership with the College’s Marketing team.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III Grants
Dr. Plinske shared that during the fall term, Valencia College will be awarding $50 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III Grants to students enrolled in the Fall 2021 term. To read more about HEERF III funds, click here.

For more information on the meeting, click here. 

The next District Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. on the East Campus in Building 8, Room 101 and via Zoom.

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