I am excited to serve as the 2018-19 president of the Black Faculty and Staff Association at the University of Central Florida. This year’s BFSA theme is titled, The Ties That Bind Us All.
BFSA is more than an organization. We are a close-knit community whose unique mission is to “…foster cultural awareness and enrichment through advocacy, mentoring, professional networking, and quality programming.” Dedicated and talented faculty and staff guide BFSA. Our goal is to create a safe space for you to find support and guidance through the experiences of other BFSA members – whether it is developing your leadership skills, exploring your passion for music, history and the arts, getting advice on the tenure process or research opportunities, or just finding a group to talk to – we are here for you.
Under the leadership of out-going BFSA president Gregory Saunders and the previous leadership team, the organization made significant progress, and I thank them for their services. This year, my goal is to engage more faculty and staff in our events and activities. A great deal of our success will depend on a stronger presence of active members – particularly faculty.
To continue BFSA’s growth and excellence, we have developed five strategic priorities for the 2018-2019 academic year:
- Increase and improve faculty/staff membership and engagement;
- Improve the recognition of BFSA as an active participant in the recruitment of faculty and staff of color;
- Strengthen the bond between members of BFSA and our students of color;
- Establish a foundation where BFSA is an active contributor in the Orlando area; and
- Develop and implement a unique group mentoring program (P.C.O.R.E) for BFSA members.
These priorities can be achieved through our collective efforts. In the end, we will build a stronger, more agile BFSA for future generations.
We have a lot planned for our members this year. The calendar below highlights signature programs and events. I encourage you to attend the next BFSA meeting in Sept. – an announcement is forthcoming. Also, save the date for the annual BFSA mentoring breakfast on Feb. 4, 2019. Don’t forget to tell a co-worker or a friend about BFSA and our upcoming events. Visit our website to view future informational sessions and professional development opportunities.
I look forward to working with you and ask for your support. We are stronger together than we are apart.
Kensington A. Shields-Dutton