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Special Message from the President: March 16, 2020

Mar 16, 2020

Good evening everyone and blessings to you all,

The message below is what was sent out last night to faculty leaders, representatives of our classified professional leadership and administration.  Given today’s events, I thought it would be good to share what we have done to prepare for today’s closure.  In case you didn’t hear, this was the official news release:

"As a precaution, we are closing Fresno City College today and for the rest of the week pending test results of a student who was exposed to a COVID-19 patient outside of the Central Valley.

The Fresno County Department of Health has not confirmed that this individual has the virus, but is recommending self-isolation. We are closing the campus for the rest of this week pending test results. We are monitoring the situation and are in close communication with Fresno County health officials."

Below is last night’s message, it is still a good one for tonight.  Stay safe, remember these three words going forward - Care, courage and compassion.

Sunday, March 15, 2019

This is a long email but a needed one.  I need you to know, I appreciate you and know that you are all doing everything you can to work through this time with the flurry of information and news that we all are seeing from local and national press outlets. As we move forward making decisions about our students, staff and community, I would encourage you all to take a minute to remember how quickly things are changing (last week as an example) and as you start planning for the weeks to come, do so not with finality in your decisions but with flexibility, grace and the benefit of the doubt.

We have new guidance from the Governor’s Office and CDC all of which has further created the need for us to be flexible in our approach moving forward. The top local news story this morning was the announcement from the Fresno County Public Office of Health that the county has declared a county-wide emergency in order to combat the spread of the virus.  I expect the City of Fresno will soon follow suit.  It is important to note, services are not shut down. 

I am incredibly proud of our faculty who have been sharing online strategies and tools with each other throughout the weekend. Many have been in contact with their deans about how they will be able to work together and remotely to serve our students. 

So, the mission we shared last Friday has evolved. Our mission has evolved from continued operations to focusing our efforts to reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19 while continuing limited education and services as we prepare to move as many courses and services online as possible, quickly.

Additionally, you should have read the SCCCD communication that was released earlier today.  In part it said:

Below are new changes that the District has made as a result of the recent county changes:

  • The general public will not be allowed on campus.
  • Employees who have health concerns should work with their supervisor to set up a possible telecommuting schedule. 
  • Employees who have not secured alternative safe childcare should work with their supervisor to set up a possible telecommuting schedule. 
  • (Please note, our Allied Health Programs and Nursing have been given clearance to continue, for the time being.)

It is important to note that we are doing our best to have time to plan for the migration of remote services, either via small work groups, or via telecommuting, online via canvas, or zoom to train and prepare faculty to migrate to online teaching. 

No one could have seen this coming or planned accordingly in the time allotted. So, right now, as we plan for the worst (COVID-19 cases will increase and the fears will be heightened) and come at it from a point of flexibility and grace and ask our colleagues to do the same.  

I eluded to this during the Friday streaming message.  To be clear, all gatherings and events are suspended for the remaining month and we will be re-evaluate week by week.  

Interview committees are to be postponed.  All committee work – standing committees, and initiative work is suspended.  We need to focus all efforts on preparing staff and faculty for remote services.  This may mean training and securing equipment.  We are dealing with a multitude of scenarios…and planning for worse…and hoping for the best.  Flexible in our approach as we prepare to migrate a workforce to be home.  I also want to add, there are no “essential vs. non-essential” people working at the college and I would discourage you from using that phrase. I suggest we use the phrase, “we are all working together for our students, our community and each other”.

Care, courage and compassion


Dr. Carole Goldsmith
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Fresno City College
1101 E. University Ave.
Fresno, CA 93741
Phone: (559) 489-2212
Fax: (559) 499-6045

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