Faculty Governance Update — April 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020 

A Message from Stanton Reed, President, Collegewide Faculty Association 

Greetings, faculty. First of all, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you to our deans, our faculty, our staff and the amazing Teaching and Learning team as we switched from face-to-face and mixed-mode to fully online courses. Secondly, I’d like to thank all for responding so quickly to the emails I sent asking for your various opinions on the enhanced grading policy for the spring semester. Additionally, thank you to the Student Affairs team for untiringly supporting and advising students as they make informed grading decisions. Your Valencia collaborative spirit is amazing even when not all opinions and ideas could be implemented. This was a heavy lift, especially for our deans, who offered patience and consideration in supporting us as we worked with the best interest of our students in mind. Thank you all for supporting our students.

With summer term coming, for many of us, this will be our first time delivering our courses fully online. Yet, I know, for some, you may not yet feel entirely comfortable with this modality. Please know that it’s okay to have some hesitation. We seek things we have control over; yet, we don’t have control over everything at this time. Show yourself some grace. Show others grace, too. You’ve got this!

Remember that if you are feeling the impact, our students are impacted too. Now’s the time to reach out to your students, show empathy and encourage them to keep moving forward and not to be too hard on themselves.

During Academic Assembly, I challenged each of you to read a book on equity and belonging. Although it’s easy to throw a challenge out the door during difficult times, I encourage you to continue reading about this important topic. Now equity takes on a new lens, as we’ve discovered the inequities of our students’ personal access to Wi-Fi, webcams and computers. Let’s enrich ourselves by reading, so we can look at things differently and work to redefine our spaces with equity in mind. This is an opportunity to really see the impact that minoritized people really experience, especially in this pandemic.

On a business note, as we get back into the swing of things, the Faculty Association met via Zoom on Thursday, April 9 2020, where we checked in and supported each other and discussed faculty leadership on campuses. With our campus closure, some campuses are still holding elections for certain positions in their Faculty Assembly or Faculty Senate. If your campus has remaining openings, please watch for an email from your campus faculty leadership on how to vote for officers. We look forward to having officers elected by the Thursday, May 14, 2020, meeting.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many compassionate, concerned and caring colleagues. I appreciate your holding me accountable for representing you in my position. We continue to take care of each other as well as being sensitive to our students’ academic, social and mental well-being. At Valencia, we say you can!

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