Faculty Governance Update — April 2021

Thursday, April 29, 2021

A Message from Patrick Bartee, President, Collegewide Faculty Association

Hello my Valencia family.

I am so excited to see another day, week and month. I am so proud of the fantastic work that you have done, are doing and will continue to do to make Valencia College the best college ever. We are moving quickly through this year with commencement already upon us. Congratulations to our 2021 graduates, and I wish them tremendous success in their endeavors. You should feel proud, because you have played a pivotal part in their future goals, success and life journey.

My questions to you this month are:

  • How are you feeling about our present situation, and are you ready to meet with your students face-to-face in the fall?
  • What is your purpose as a faculty member and why do you love to teach?

Please email me your responses to pbartee@valenciacollege.edu, so I can share them with Senior Team.

Last year around this time, we were making major changes in our personal lives and in our careers with COVID showing its ugly face. I personally had to really adjust because I was one of those professors who simply loved seeing my students daily. It brought joy to my heart. I tell my students both today and when I was a professor at the University of Akron that once you are in my class you are in my life, and I care about you and your future.

I would always say that I was not an online professor because I did not believe that one’s personality could shine through a screen. I have since learned how wrong I was and quickly learned to adapt and find a way to still make learning exciting and fresh online. That came because I saw the faculty pull together and help those of us who were not computer-savvy feel comfortable in the transition. With their help, it made that very quick transition easier. As we prepare for August and slowly moving back to our new sense of normal, are we ready for this?

Personally, I will probably stay online simply because I am learning to verbally communicate without vocal cords. With that being said, I am excited about returning to campus once I have completed my stint as president of the Faculty Association, because I miss seeing all of you and especially connecting face-to-face with my students.

As faculty are the lifeline and blood flow of the College, and your thoughts are important to me, I expect a full mailbox of your thoughts. Also, if you can, please ask your students how they feel about returning face-to-face, because their lives were totally changed as well.

Additionally, I’d love to learn what is your purpose of teaching or why do you teach? I always say it was not for the money, because I have had careers and jobs where I was paid a much higher salary but found no joy in the actual job or career. It was my destiny to be in a college classroom, because it was not my path when I started college or finished college at Bethune-Cookman. I recognized my purpose for teaching when I was a professor at my beloved alma mater, the University of Akron. I found myself being more compassionate when listening to students and the various situations that they face daily. Being a college professor chose me, and I have had no regrets.

We must look beyond the surface of our students to help them be successful, and remember, it is not about us but it is about the student. Of course, we still must be cognizant of self and making sure that we are true to that purpose placed before us, but we must understand our students are our final concern. Always remember, without our students, there would be not faculty, staff, Senior Team, deans, campus presidents or a college president.

Make it a great day, week and month, and always make a difference in whatever you do. I will be waiting on those emails to share with the leaders of Valencia.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me via text at 407-529-6595 or email at pbartee@valenciacollege.edu.

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