Education · Fresno

SCCCD promotes from within, names new Fresno City College president

California’s oldest community college has found its next president. 

The State Center Community College District (SCCCD) Board appointed Dr. Robert Pimentel as the next president of Fresno City College. 

Pimentel, who is currently the vice president of educational services and institutional effectiveness at Fresno City, will take the position starting July 1. 

Board President Nasreen Johnson announced the appointment during its meeting on Tuesday. 

“The Board of Trustees are grateful to the search committee whose commitment to the District’s values of academic excellence, diversity, equity and inclusion was evident throughout the process,” Johnson said. 

Before moving to his current position in 2018, Pimentel worked at West Hills Community College District in various leadership positions for 11 years. 

Prior to that, he served as a staff member in the district for seven years. 

“I am honored to be selected to lead California’s first community college and one of the most equity minded institutions in the Central Valley,” Pimentel said in a statement. 

“I am thrilled and energized to continue to serve the community of Fresno and work alongside faculty, staff, and administrators who are dedicated to the lives of our students.” 

According to a press release from the SCCCD, Pimentel’s contributions to Fresno City include efforts in anti-racism, equity and social justice, as well as mentoring guided pathways initiatives with an equity framework. 

The SCCCD called Pimentel an “equity-minded leader” who is committed to finding permanent solutions that address the basic needs of community college students. 

“He is committed to furthering student equity, diversity, and inclusion and building campus and community coalitions towards racial equity,” the press release states. 

Pimentel graduated from West Hills College Coalinga and received his bachelor’s degree in social work from Fresno State. 

He then went on to receive a master’s degree in social work with an emphasis on mental health from California State University, Bakersfield and a doctorate in educational leadership, higher education from Fresno State. 

Pimentel will take over for Dr. Marlon Hall, who has been serving as the interim president since January 11, when former president Dr. Carole Goldsmith was named as the SCCCD Chancellor. 

In a statement, Goldsmith praised Pimentel’s “wealth of experience” and said she is looking forward to working with him as president. 

“He has been highly successful as a vice president of Fresno City College and he enjoys tremendous support on the campus and in the district. He has been involved in a number of statewide initiatives and is known across the state for his work in Workforce Development, Enrollment Management, and Academic Research expertise. I am confident he will continue to accelerate the college’s mission to provide access to equity-centered, quality, innovative educational programs, and services,” Goldsmith said. 

“As part of our process, we heard from all college constituency groups and the community. I believe Dr. Pimentel’s experience in collaborative academic research will position us for a promising future. He has demonstrated his commitment to the culture of anti-racism, where respect and inquiry are valued, and has worked to foster student success as well as improve the economic, social, and cultural development of our students. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to put forward a candidate with his expertise and knowledge of Fresno City College.”

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.