Faculty Governance Updates, February 2015

faculty-association-leadership-team-jan15-groveFrom left to right: Michael Robbins, Carl Creasman, Ruby Alvarez, Kris Dougherty, Bill Gombash, Val Woldman; (Not Pictured) Suzette Dohany

By Carl Creasman, President, Collegewide Faculty Association

Cast Your Vote for the Faculty Association Constitution Changes
The Valencia College Faculty Association (VCFA) began its Constitutional vote on Monday, February 23, 2015, via a Qualtrics Survey that you you received via email. If you haven’t already voted, please do so today as your vote is needed. Click here for more information. 

faculty-insight-news-idStudent Feedback on Instruction Update
The Student Feedback on Instruction (SFI) committee sent recommendations to the Faculty Council and were approved based on our 18-month trial of the new SFI. After looking at the data and the faculty survey results, the committee’s recommendations were approved. These include:

  • Moving the start date of the SFI to later in the term and keeping all surveys open until the day before finals
  • Changing from eight different launch dates to account for all Parts of Term to having three launch dates and related cycles of reminders
  • Reducing, removing or altering some of the questions of the SFI

Commencement Information
Valencia’s 46th Annual Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at a new location, the CFE Arena at the University of Central Florida. The time of the event has changed as well and the processional will begin at 6:40 p.m., and the ceremony will commence at 7 p.mI know this is different, and being later at night may be something unexpected (maybe even causing a conflict in your personal schedule or the schedule of a student). Over the past few years, the Commencement Committee has been working to find a new location due to our increased size and some challenges we experienced at the Osceola location. So, the committee reviewed several new locations in order to improve the experience for students and guests. The CFE Arena was chosen due to its larger indoor capacity for the student line up, the technology available inside the Arena, seating for guests and reduced production time and costs. I look forward to seeing you all there to honor the hard work of our students.

Faculty Award for Excellence Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Counseling and Librarianship
Last year, when Deidre Holmes DuBois, professor of speech and Faculty Association immediate past president, led the Council to pursue this award, an idea born from my separate conversations with Olga Vasquez, professor of biology, and James May, professor of EAP, we were eager to create an award with a substantial reward to demonstrate just how highly the College thinks of our work. Having more than 140 of us nominated in 2014 is a testimony of that excellence; however, I think there are many more who deserve the honor of nomination. The deadline of Friday, March 6, 2015, is approaching fast, so please submit your nominations now.

Learning in our Community Symposium
Valencia College is offering a Learning Symposium for all Valencia faculty and staff to engage in conversations focused on front-door alignment, high-impact practices and building connections for student success. Within this collaborative community, participants will learn from their colleagues and explore innovative strategies to enhance the teaching and learning experience.  Within the symposium’s three tracks, sessions will be offered to highlight Valencia’s emerging work with curricular alignment, diagnostics and pathways, financial aid impact on curriculum, LinC, Service Learning, internationalizing the curriculum, co-curricular engagement, MEP, CARE and the New Student Experience. In addition to a comprehensive overview, faculty and staff will reflect and inform strategic planning through the participation of a design challenge. Speakers and facilitators will include Valencia President Sandy Shugart and colleagues of this emerging work.  For more information and registration details, click here.

Public Records Requests
Working in a public institution means that our records are subject to public inspection and disclosure, including but not limited to records of employment such as your name, title and salary information. We receive requests often related to the release of public information; for example, most of you know that the Orlando Business Journal requested and subsequently published the names, titles and salary information of Valencia employees.

Although every public agency is required to provide requested information, there are exceptions within the state statutes that provide exemptions from the public records law. This means that certain information can be redacted, or withheld, in response to a public records request if a statutory exemption applies. Thus, it is vital that you complete the request about your personal information. For directions, click here.

And, through Atlas, you always have the option of updating what information the College has about you. You may access that information in Atlas, on the ‘Employees” tab, in the top center box (My Human Resources) and click the “Update Your Information” link.  Among the options to change your address and other personal information, you will find a link for the public record exemption form that takes you to a page where you may update your public records exemption status.

Online Learning Redesign Works Begin
If you missed the email on Tuesday, February 23, from Susan Ledlow, vice president, academic affairs and planning, a comprehensive initiative is underway this spring to design and implement strategies, processes, practices and tools to increase online student success, support faculty and deans in delivering online courses and programs, as well as improve the student experience in online and hybrid courses. Click here for details.

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