Thursday, April 29, 2021
A Message from Ben Taylor, Assistant Director, Equal Opportunity and ODHR Partners
In January 2021, I shared a message seeking candidates for the faculty ombuds representative position. I’m writing today with an update as to the role.
As we solicited interest in the role, we also continued to review the information made available to us from Anna Saintil, current faculty ombuds representative, and through the information you provided through your survey responses.
A major theme from that faculty feedback centered on a lack of awareness and understanding of the faculty ombuds role and the need to prioritize efforts to increase awareness. As a result, in consultation with Faculty Association leadership, the decision was made to make a small amendment to the procedures of the Employee Dispute Resolution policy to allow for an option to include a second person to serve concurrently in the faculty ombuds role. This decision affords us the flexibility to ensure that the faculty ombuds representative(s) have the capacity and support to engage both in serving as a resource for faculty and also as an advocate for raising awareness for the role.
We selected two fantastic faculty members from a robust, well-qualified candidate pool. Those selected will build upon the work already completed by Anna Saintil, professor, student life skills.
Our new faculty ombuds representatives are Ann Heiny, faculty, New Student Experience (West Campus), and Ramon Velez-Cruz, faculty, New Student Experience (Osceola Campus). They will begin serving at the start of the Fall 2021 term.
The selection committee members were excited to have such incredible candidates submit their interest in filling the position and believe that Ann and Ramon will serve all Valencia College faculty well as faculty ombuds representatives.
As you may know, the faculty ombuds representatives are a resource to support both part-time and full-time faculty in navigating College policies and procedures. Over the summer, both Ann and Ramon will receive comprehensive training on a variety of relevant topics and will work closely with representatives in Organizational Development and Human Resources (ODHR) to ensure they have the support they need to successfully fulfill the responsibilities of this role. Please join me in welcoming the new faculty ombuds representatives.
I also want to express a deep and sincere thanks to Anna Saintil, who helped build this role from words within a policy to a practical and helpful resource and who has been ready and willing to serve. Her work will be a wonderful foundation from which to build as we continue to explore the many ways we can support our faculty. Please also join me in expressing gratitude for the great work completed by her. Anna, thank you for your work and your service to your faculty colleagues and the College.