Featured Colleague – Joan Tiller

By Chara Young

Joan Tiller currently serves as Valencia’s Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Planning, and as Dr. Shugart remarked at Academic Assembly, “she’s wonderful, rational, a great listener, a healer.”

Joan, who was called from retirement to fill this role, had previously served at Valencia for 26 years before finishing her career as the Assistant Vice President for Workforce Development. In this role, she supported the campuses in developing over 70 new A.S. (Associate in Science) degrees and certificate programs, and served as the project director for over $61 million in grant funds that helped to strengthen and support programs and initiatives at Valencia.

A team builder by nature, Joan is respected by her peers from across the state, local school districts, and other community colleges. Joan has an uncanny ability to analyze complex policy initiatives, construct solutions that would best serve students, and build consortiums of support among constituents. With her experience and superb track record in both curriculum development and grants, Joan is the ideal person to lead the college through the new transition and reorganization – combining academic affairs with planning and resource development.

As the interim VP for academic affairs and planning, Joan oversees curriculum and articulation, led by Karen Borglum; assessment and institutional effectiveness led by Kurt Ewen; workforce development with Nasser Hedayat as the interim AVP; and resource development and strategic planning – a search for an AVP in this area is presently underway. See this week’s Organization Matters for more details on the changes. As for the new direction of academic affairs, Joan says they are “committed to a team spirit and collaboration in working with student affairs, human resources, marketing, OIT, administrative services, facilities and all areas of the college to best serve students.”

The academic affairs and planning staff “have been working hard with other staff throughout the college to review and align the functions of all areas to provide the best possible collaboration, communication and support of the campus work,” notes Joan. To support these efforts, the College Planning Council, now co-chaired by Joan and faculty leader, Jean Marie Furhman, has extended the Strategic Plan from 2013 to 2015 to assist in the preparation for SACS accreditation and the alignment of the campus plans with the college-wide strategic plan.

Prior to her retirement in 2007, she was recognized by her peers as one of the top 40 most influential leaders who have contributed in a significant way to the legacy of Valencia, and was named Emeritus Assistant Vice President for Workforce Development.

Graduating from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in education, Joan’s work experience spans from teaching at Pasco-Hernando Community College and Hillsborough County Schools to working in public accounting in Tampa. After her retirement from Valencia, Joan remained active as the president of Valencia’s Retiree Connection and worked as a consultant in higher education.

Know someone doing great work at the college? Send your recommendation to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu and he or she may be one of our featured colleagues!


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