Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Candidates Make Their Case To Become New Fresno City College President
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 2 years ago on
April 20, 2022

Share

 

Reversing the loss of community college enrollments was identified as a top priority among the four candidates vying to become the next president of Fresno City College, who were presented to the community Tuesday during one-hour forums.

The forums, held in the college’s Old Administration Building auditorium and aired on Zoom and YouTube, were the public’s first look at the candidates vying to replace the former president, Carole Goldsmith, now the chancellor of State Center Community College District.

The forums were only one part of the job interview process that the four candidates have been undergoing.

The candidates — Dr. Lataria Hall, Fresno City’s vice president of student services; Dr. Robert Pimentel, Fresno City’s vice president of educational services and institutional effectiveness; Dr. Madjid Niroumand, vice president of student services at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa; and Dr. Cory Clasemann, vice president for student success at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, Indiana — had an hour to present their case to the public as to why they should be selected as the next Fresno City College president.

The college accepted feedback from the public up until midnight Tuesday.

State Center spokeswoman Lucy Ruiz said Tuesday that Goldsmith’s recommendation for the position will go to the Board of Trustees for a vote. Depending on contract negotiations, the appointment could be on the May or June board meeting agenda, Ruiz said.

Q&A

Rebuilding enrollments, which plummeted during the pandemic, is necessary if Fresno City and other community colleges are to avoid making budget cuts, the candidates said.

The candidates were asked a variety of questions, ranging from whether they think online classes should continue to be offered post-pandemic (most said yes, although Clasemann said he prefers in-person classes because students learn better there); what they would do to change the perception among some students that Fresno City, the biggest college in the State Center system and one of the state’s oldest community colleges, is more like a high school than college (Fresno City should do a better job sharing its story with the community, was one answer); and whether they believe in the “collegial consultation process” to decision-making (all four said they are firm believers in involving faculty, staff, students, and the community as team players).

Niroumand drew a laugh when he said he spent his birthday weekend preparing for Tuesday’s forum and noted that as an Aries he’s already a “Ram.” (Fresno City’s mascot is the Ram.) Niroumand, who fled Iran as a refugee, established his regional connections when he noted that he started his schooling at Clovis Adult School when he was living in the Fresno area with one brother before heading to Southern California to continue college while living with another brother.

A question about whether they would have a “Fresno City College first” outlook or seek more cooperation and collegiality among the district’s four colleges brought a similar response from the two local candidates, Hall and Pimentel, who both said Fresno City is and should be No. 1. As the district’s largest college, its success or failure impacts the region.

“When Fresno City College is successful, State Center is successful,” Hall said.

The two out-of-town candidates, Niroumand and Clasemann, had less parochial responses. College officials should be thinking first about what is best for students, and if that means they move around among State Center’s colleges to take classes, so be it, said Clasemann, who works at Indiana’s only community college, which has 19 campuses.

“What is best for the student may not be best for the college,” he said.

All four talked about the region’s poverty and low rates of college education and how they would work to get more people, especially men of color, into post-secondary education.

Being The ‘Face’ of Fresno City

Their answers to a question about whether they could be the face of Fresno City College and the city of Fresno, their answers reflected the diversity among the candidate pool.

“Well, if you look at the lineup of the individuals that will be speaking today, you will see that I am the only female, and I am the only African American,” Hall said. “Our community is a community of minorities. This role is a role that has been dominated heavily by males. It is time for that narrative to change.”

“Absolutely, 100 percent,” said Pimentel, who had earlier talked about his childhood growing up in poverty in Huron as an English learner student. ” … I feel I can represent our community well, because of my experience and educational background.”

“Could I be the face? Yes. Could I represent the college in every aspect? No,” Clasemann said. “And I don’t think that’s necessarily the president’s job. I think there are some settings where the president has to be the person who goes out there.

“But the president doesn’t have all the relationships. There are some of you who are going to have a lot more of those relationships. You have the subject-matter expertise. You know the people. You know the situations better. So the college is more than just the president.”

Clasemann, who later identified himself as gay while answering a question about equitable leadership, then talked about how he would use his race to promote equity.

“As a gay man, I stand up here knowing that diversity comes in many different forms. Some of that diversity is the diversity that we can see when we look at each other. Some of that is diversity that we can’t see. … Students want to see and interact with individuals with shared experiences. That is who they connect with, and that is how they best engage with the college.”

“… I also believe that as a white man it is imperative and critical upon me to use my privilege to help move us forward. Because it is only at that point, when we all work together and I use my privilege as a white man to be able to move these causes in the right direction.”

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

DON'T MISS

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

UP NEXT

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

UP NEXT

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

5 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

17 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

18 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

18 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

19 hours ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

20 hours ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

20 hours ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

21 hours ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

21 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

23 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

You might have noticed that the tangy taste of pickles has taken over more than just the condiment aisle. From pickle-flavored popcorn to pi...

5 hours ago

5 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

5 hours ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

5 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

5 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

17 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

18 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

18 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

19 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend