Valencia Trustees OK Budget, Shugart’s Salary and Hiring Architects

At the June 19 meeting of Valencia College’s Board of Trustees, the board approved the operating budget for 2012-13, okayed a new contract for the college president, and approved hiring architects for several renovations.

Valencia College’s trustees voted to approve the college’s $164  million operating budget for 2012-13.  The budget includes no cost increases for students.

In addition, the trustees voted to spend a one-time, $6 million allocation from the state legislature on a variety of projects.  The college will place $3 million in a contingency fund, which serves as an emergency fund for unexpected needs. Of the remaining $3 million, the college will spend $1 million on new file servers; $1 million will be placed in a health insurance reserve fund because the college is now self-insured; $75,000 to purchase resource materials for the Lake Nona campus library; $500,000 for the final year lease for the Sand Lake Center; and $500,000 for marketing to increase enrollment.

The trustees also approved a four-year contract extension for Valencia’s president, Dr. Sandy Shugart.  His contract for 2012-13 includes no raise, because Shugart requested no increase at a time when employees are not receiving pay raises. His base salary for 2012-13 is $293,045.

The trustees voted unanimously to approve Shugart’s contract, but trustee Lew Oliver objected to Dr. Shugart’s refusal to accept merit pay.  “I’m going to renew my annual objection,” Oliver said. “I think Dr. Shugart’s performance has been exceptional — without equal — and I think his compensation should reflect that.”

In other news, the board approved hiring DLR Group to serve as the architect for  the renovation of the Student Services Building on West Campus. The area currently occupied by the college’s Office of Information Technology will be renovated for student services offices. OIT will move into West Campus Building 10 when it is complete.

The trustees also voted to hire Borelli & Partners to serve as the architects for the renovations to a Metrowest office building that the college is planning to purchase.  If the college purchases the Park Place Building, a five-story office building on Park Center Drive, the building will be renovated to serve as the administrative headquarters for the college. Currently, the president and some administrative officials have offices downtown, while other administrative departments, including marketing and human resources, are located on campuses. The Metrowest building would house those college-wide operations.

While the purchase and renovations of the Metrowest building are taking place, the college plans to continue leasing the Downtown Center from the Valencia Foundation, which owns the building. However, because the price of rental space in downtown has dropped due to the recession, college officials renegotiated the lease, reducing the cost per square foot from $16 per square foot to $10.50 per square foot.  The lease for 2012-13 will be $294,000, down from the current annual rate of $447,920. The board approved the new lease.

Meanwhile, the trustees voted to postpone a decision on hiring one architecture firm to handle small renovations and contracts for the next three years.

In other news, Dr. Shugart announced that the college has hired a new vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Susan Ledlow from Arizona State University will join the college in August to fill that position. Ledlow is currently the curriculum and faculty development specialist for the School of Sustainability at ASU. Joan Tiller is currently serving as the interim vice president for academic affairs.