Spring 2020 – A Sitdown With President Goldsmith


Photo by: Patrick Henslee

President Carole Goldsmith sits down with the Rampage to discuss the state of the campus, Jan. 28, 2020. Goldsmith touched on enrollment, new faculty, the controversial new managers of the bookstore, and campus security after a misunderstanding prompted rumors of a possible shooting, which turned out to be unfounded.

Above the hustle and bustle of the beginning weeks of the spring 2020 semester at Fresno City College, Dr. Carole Goldsmith prepares herself and her staff for another semester as college president.

So what is the state of the college?

Goldsmith is overall confident in the success and the potential at FCC.


Enrollment and Community Involvement

Full-time student enrollment at FCC hovers at nearly 18,000 students. Goldsmith and the rest of the administration, however, hope to see that number continue to climb – and there are incentives if that number does continue to grow.

“We’re striving to reach that 20,000 FTS (full time student) goal, and the reason that we’re striving for that is because once you hit that benchmark the state gives you more funding,” Goldsmith added. “I believe we [were] at 17,800.”

But Goldsmith says there is still room to grow.

“We’re encouraging students to pick up one more class for a number of reasons,” Goldsmith said, encouraging students to enroll in more units and become full-time students to help not only the college, but themselves in their own studies.

In addition to personal successes and the success of the school and district, she added that faculty becoming involved in incentive programs is beneficial to all.

Being involved in the “K16 Initiative,” which works to get students through high school and into college, Goldsmith said systems like this make the college a stronger institution and a better community.

“Those types of activities are very much encouraged for our faculty to get involved in the community, to get involved with their local feeder schools [and] get involved with the CSUs, and we’re seeing those partnerships pay off,” Goldsmith added.

“In terms of the overall state of the college, I think we are in a very strong position.”


Faculty Additions

With Clovis Community College being the newest addition to the district, Goldsmith acknowledged that the district has placed a lot of focus on the new addition. 

SCCCD Chancellor Dr. Paul Parnell, however, recently granted FCC eight new faculty member positions for the upcoming semester, along with 22 replacement positions from retired staff.

“It’s an opportunity for us to select faculty who mirror the look and mirror the ethos of our community,” Goldsmith said. “We’re going to have over 30 positions. That is a huge opportunity.”

Goldsmith added emphasis on the importance of building faculty through new positions, and improving on already established positions that replace leaving or retiring faculty, citing that it was a good opportunity to get new vision and new opportunity on the FCC campus.

In the interest of filling positions at FCC, Goldsmith constructed the first ever “President’s Human Resources Prioritization and Recommendations Report,” a detailed outline of the recommendations from different boards outlining everything from K-12 partners to diversity and equal opportunity plan integration.

“I’m going to continue to advocate not only for the existing dollars but going after grants to find any external funding we can to help staff up West Fresno and the First Responders Center,” Goldsmith added.

The goal of the report is to guide future discussions on and off campus, serve as a foundation for resource requests and display the needs of the college, financially and otherwise.


Campus Security

In light of a campus “shooting scare” that headlined the first issue of the Rampage in the fall 2019 semester, Goldsmith clarified the situation that caused panic and confusion for students and faculty at FCC.

“I took a little exception to that article and let me tell you why: it wasn’t a shooting scare,” Goldsmith said. The incident stemmed from an overheard conversation between two film students in which the term for filming (shooting) and a style of microphone (shotgun microphone) were misinterpreted as a potential threat. 

“It was actually a symptom and proof that all the things that we’re doing are working,” Goldsmith said. “We’re really been focused on ‘if you see something, say something.’”

Goldsmith emphasizes that FCC’s goal regarding security is to help students feel safe to report incidents and suspicions to police and faculty.

While this incident ended up being nothing more than misunderstanding, Goldsmith insists that the system that the school is trying to emphasize is working.

“We’re going to continue to do what we know is working, and that’s being able to create a community and a culture where people feel safe to report things,” Goldsmith said.

In the interest of security, many positions have been filled at the district level and Goldsmith advocates for the continued effort to keep these positions filled and fill new positions in and around campus. She emphasized the importance of the police presence locally on campus at FCC.

“We want to have police on campus,” Goldsmith said. “They are part of our community. In fact, many of them went to our police academy.”

Goldsmith encourages people to get to know the officers locally on campus, encouraging a strong community bond between students, faculty and campus officers.


Follett and the Bookstore Resolution

Last semester the campus bookstore suffered a rough transition from being independently owned to being owned by the Follet Corp. – a third-party educational products seller and distributor. Students suffered through hour-long lines, missing materials and general disorganization when trying to purchase their classroom materials and textbooks.

Goldsmith said the chancellor and the district believe the issues have been resolved leading into this semester.

“Our chancellor and Vice Chancellor [Cheryl] Sullivan went to the academic senate and assured them that they have done everything they can to ensure the issues have been resolved,” Goldsmith said. “They believe the issues have been resolved and I am going to put my trust and faith in them.”

Goldsmith also added that district Chief Technology Officer Ralph Looney made certain that the services Follett implemented in the campus bookstore are running smoothly. She also said that bookstore manager Paul Klays is doing everything he can to ensure that the bookstore runs as smoothly as possible this semester as well.

“I think the district has done all they can,” Goldsmith added. “On campus we have our own bookstore committee which we will be looking [at] very closely.”

A co-chaired committee between Academic Senate President Karla Kirk and Vice President of Administrative Services Omar Gutierrez has been implemented to ensure that bookstore operations run smoothly this semester.


Statement to the Student Body

Goldsmith emphasized the importance of education from both students’ and faculty perspectives, “I believe that education does transform lives and it does transform communities.”