District Board of Trustees Learns About Roadmap for Reopening Phase 3 Operations

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

College President Sandy Shugart shared Valencia College’s Roadmap for Reopening plan to move to Phase 3 operations in the Summer 2021 term, during the Wednesday, February 24, 2021, District Board of Trustees meeting. Our plan is based on two priorities — the health and safety of our employees and students and ensuring the continuity of student learning — and is being formed and implemented with feedback from employees, students and Orlando Health and within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Though some College operations, teaching, learning, student affairs and learning support will continue online in Phase 3, there are programs, services and departments where on-site engagement can be restored. In the summer term, many students and employees will continue remote work to enable physical distancing and reduce population density on campus, as well as to provide for the health and safety of our community.

Programs or courses where the curricula can neither be delivered nor assessed remotely or programs where faculty and/or students prefer an on-site experience might return to campus.

All full-time faculty with a summer teaching obligation were surveyed, and 18% responded with preference for teaching on-site this summer. Annually appointed and part-time faculty in selected disciplines are currently being surveyed for interest in teaching on-site.

Additionally, a student survey of nearly 1,400 students revealed that 51% prefer at least one on-site course in areas such as accounting, English, math, science and speech.

A design team of faculty and deans recommended that the College prioritize on-site meetings for courses:

  • That were offered on-site for fall and spring, as well as sequential courses in those programs;
  • With learning outcomes that can be accomplished with physical distancing and masking requirements;
  • That were most frequently listed as those that students delayed taking until they could do so in-person;
  • That are within the core general education requirements; and
  • That had not been taught online prior to the pandemic.

As a result, courses planned with on-site offerings for the summer include: accelerated skills training, allied health, arts and entertainment, biotechnology, culinary arts, engineering, nursing, public safety, accounting, biology, business, chemistry, earth science, English, history, humanities, math, New Student Experience, physics, plant science, political science, psychology and statistics.

Facility opening will still be limited. The School of Public Safety, Advanced Manufacturing Training Center and the Centers for Accelerated Training on Downtown, Osceola and Poinciana Campuses will be fully open. The following locations will be partially open: classroom and labs in select buildings on Downtown, East, Lake Nona, Osceola, Poinciana and West Campuses and the District Office for two days per week. The Winter Park Campus will remain closed.

Spring 2021 Disbursement of Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act Student Financial Aid Grants
In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was signed into law. Under CRSSAA, the United States Department of Education (ED) has made available $21.2 billion to distribute to institutions of higher education to ensure learning continues for students during COVID-19 through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II). We anticipate that Valencia will receive $59.5 million in CRSSAA funds from the ED. Of this amount, at least $13.8 million must be used for student aid.

Valencia plans to open its first round of student aid made possible by HEERF II funds this spring. The College will identify potentially eligible students who are registered in at least one course in the Spring 2021 term and are classified as degree seeking. In addition, per CRRSAA requirements that institutions must prioritize students with exceptional need, students, who complete an application for aid and have an estimated family contribution of zero, will receive a grant in the amount of $500. The estimated family contribution is an index number used to calculate how much financial aid students are eligible to receive. CRSSAA aid-eligible students, who submit an application but do not have have an estimated family contribution of zero, will receive a $300 grant.

The tentative schedule for the first round of funding has applications opening on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, and closing on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, we will email all CRSSAA aid-eligible students with information about how to access a CRRSAA aid application. Applications will be due on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

The board authorized the College to disburse CRSSAA student financial aid funds in accordance with the plan and further authorized the College to adjust the disbursement in a compliant manner as necessary in the event of new official CRSSAA disbursement guidance. Details on the plans for additional rounds of financial aid distribution for students and institutional funds will be presented to the board at a later date.

Midtown Orlando Center for Accelerated Skills Training Tenant Build-out
In December 2020, the College issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the Midtown Orlando Center for Accelerated Skills Training tenant build-out to Valencia’s annually prequalified pool of general contractors. This project will consist of a tenant build-out of 26,402 square feet in an existing industrial, new shell space for the Midtown Orlando Center for Accelerated Skills Training. Fourteen firms submitted qualifications

Trustees authorized the College to award the RFP to and enter into a contract with Charles Perry Partners, Inc. — the lowest bidder — for the build-out, at a cost of $1,896,770. View the presentation here.

Trustee News
The board welcomed a new trustee, Angel de la Portilla, who serves as president of Central Florida Strategies, a consulting firm with experience representing real estate developers on local government matters involving land use and zoning changes, impact fee deferrals and reductions, assistance with permitting issues, and representation on real estate transactions with the public sector. He has been involved as a government consultant on large-scale construction and transportation projects representing firms involved in design, engineering, program management and construction.

He expressed that he was drawn to serving on Valencia’s board as his son recently found his calling in life during an economics course at the College with Professor of Economics Jack Chambless.

Additionally, trustee Beth Smith was reappointed to the board.

Downtown Campus Update
As the regularly scheduled meeting would have been held at the Downtown Campus, Interim President of the West and Downtown Campuses Terri Graham and Executive Dean of the Downtown Campus Eugene Jones provided an update on the campus where there are 15 full-time faculty and 40 part-time faculty in general education and Health Information Technology, 41 part-time and nine full-time faculty in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, and five full-time staff in Learning Support and Faculty Development to serve our 1,822 combined co-listed enrollment with the University of Central Florida. View the presentation here.

Four Downtown Campus Student Government Association (SGA) leaders also provided SGA updates. View their presentation here.

New College President Employment Contract
As we transition to our fifth college president, the trustees approved Kathleen Plinske’s employment contract. The contract was built on three principles:

  1. Positioning the College and the position of Valencia College president appropriately in the relevant higher education market in which Valencia competes for talent;
  2. Observing the values and perspectives of the new college president with respect to the contract and structure of the compensation package; and
  3. Retaining the new president.

The College engaged a higher education executive compensation consultant, Quatt Associates, to research current trends in executive compensation and analyze relevant markets — including local and national colleges and universities similar to Valencia in mission, size and with whom we compete for talent. In the analysis, the consultants found that Valencia is most comparable to the 75th percentile of like colleges in terms of size, budget, locations and enrollment. Quatt recommended that the most appropriate comparison for the compensation package is the total remuneration, not simply base compensation. While most colleges begin their incoming presidents at or near the median, because of both Valencia’s size and scope and Dr. Plinske’s unique experience and education, Quatt recommended that our initial contract be targeted at the 65th percentile of the market, providing a competitive starting package with room to grow, as additional components including performance are included.

Valencia College Policy Adoptions 
The board approved adopting the following amended policies to conform with applicable laws and regulations and provide updates to reflect current College practices:

Valencia College Policy Repeals
The board also repealed the following items:

Valencia College Annual Affordability Report
Assistant Vice President of Budgets and Analysis Oscar Cristancho Mercado presented Valencia’s 2019-2020 Affordability Report, an internal analysis of the real cost of a Valencia education and its impact on the students we serve. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Valencia College tuition and fees totaled $3,092, compared to the average of Florida College System institutions of $3,206. Also, 76% of our students graduated with no Valencia debt. To read the report, click here.

Spring Enrollment Report
Vice President of Student Affairs Joe Richardson presented the spring enrollment report from the beginning of the term. At a time when many colleges are seeing a decline in enrollment, Valencia College has sustained enrollment. To view the report, click here.

Faculty Association Report
Past Faculty Association President Stanton Reed introduced Faculty Association President Patrick Bartee to the board. Speaking on behalf of Patrick, Stanton thanked the board for its ongoing faculty support.

For more information on the meeting, click here. 

The next District Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. For details, view the schedule.

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