Faculty Governance Update — October 2020

Thursday, October 29, 2020

A Message from Stanton Reed, Past President and Interim President, Collegewide Faculty Association

Coming off of last week’s Inclusive Excellence Speaker Series with New York Times Bestselling Author Austin Channing Brown has left me curious and caused me to pause, as she reflected on her experience as a Black woman at predominantly white institutions.

Brown’s experiences were fresh, which made me realize that we need to continue to create spaces for all faculty to share their stories and experiences to enrich our Valencia community. Our stories help to create spaces for us to continue to learn and grow. One of Our Peace and Justice Institute Principles for How We Treat Each Other, Principle 2, comes to mind: “listen deeply”. Listen intently to what is said; listen to the feelings beneath the words. Strive to achieve a balance between listening and reflecting, speaking and acting.

Additionally, Brown’s experience made me reflect on my own journey of being a faculty member and how easy it is to miss opportunities to listen deeply and grow from the stories and experiences of others. Let’s continue to ask the following questions: When do we step out of our personal space for the inclusiveness of others? How can we acknowledge others’ experiences and strive to do better? Let us join together to create spaces for our colleagues to share their stories and embrace their trust and confidence in our ability to listen without judgment.

Today’s Teaching Environment and Providing the Right Conditions for Learning

We’re in a state that I’ve never seen before in our online world, which makes me wonder how we are navigating the new opportunities we have to deliver learning differently. How are we managing in our new office spaces with our new “co-workers”? We have a good framework to support us in providing the right conditions for learning. We continue to create an atmosphere filled with grace and empathy. We are willing to encourage and offer assistance to our colleagues without judgment. Let us not forget the human traits of imperfection and failure that afford us the opportunity to experience progression and success. When we practice self-care and care for our colleagues, our students will learn sustainable values of treasuring human beings. And as we continue to do this, our processes are improving as well, some more quickly than others, but we are not where we were months ago.

I encourage you to continue to invest in providing the right conditions for learning, talk to your dean, meet virtually with a co-worker who you respect and can feel vulnerable with, or contact the Centers for Teaching/Learning Innovation. Remember, we are on a journey. Be the game changer you are meant to be and experiment with different learning strategies as you go. They may or may not work, but you’ll benefit from your efforts. We learn as faculty and students in the same space. Let’s join hands (virtually) and learn together.

Thank You Faculty Volunteers

Thanks to our many faculty members for getting involved in our College’s work. During the Faculty Council’s Thursday, October 8, 2020, meeting the following nominations were made:

Undergraduate Research Advisory Board 

  • Ciara Hensley, emerging technology librarian
  • Charlene Ingwell Spolan, professor, nursing
  • Gandhy Pierre-Louis, professor, biology

College Curriculum Committee 

  • Communications Alternate: Chris Borglum, professor, English
  • Mathematics Representative: Niraj Wagh, professor, mathematics

Academic Integrity Standing Committee

  • Shea Faulkner, professor, English
  • Mahendra Gossai, professor, computer programming and analysis
  • Tim Grogan, professor, biology
  • Angela Hall, librarian
  • Deidre Holmes DuBois, professor, speech
  • Sharon Shenton, professor, cardiopulmonary sciences
  • Susan Yawn, professor, criminal justice technology
  • Jerry Reed, professor, computer programming and analysis

If you have any questions or just need to talk, please contact me at sreed21@valenciacollege.edu or 407-299-5000, extension 4224. Or, you may contact President-elect Michael Robbins at mrobbins9@valenciacollege.edu or 407-299-5000, extension 6103.


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