College president finalist Pedro Martinez

 College president finalist Pedro Martinez

Pedro L. Marinez

Patricia Rocha, Editor in Chief

The three finalists for the vacant role of Bakersfield College president spoke on campus Sept. 25-26 to discuss their qualifications and ideas for the future of BC. The candidates were asked a series of questions by faculty and students, and they were able to give their views on each topic mentioned.

Pedro L. Martinez focused on his ideas to improve student success, looking for more fundraising opportunities, and create a “core” based on general education classes.

Martinez made it clear he thinks students are the most important part of the campus community.

“That’s why we’re employed,” he said. “That’s how the college exists. That’s how the budget is allocated. They are the most important.”

With his background in a university environment, he feels the atmosphere of a university and community college isn’t very different, except that a community college is a better choice for those individuals who have responsibilities outside of school like providing for their families.

“The role of community college is multiple,” he said. “It includes the basic skills, includes the certificates, the short term. The beauty of the community college is the metaphor that has been used before: it’s like a train.

“You get on that train and it has different stops, so a student may be able to get on for employment purposes, and be able to get on their feet.”

Martinez said he wants to fill the role as president of BC because of the close-knit environment and his personal passion of helping students achieve their fullest potential.

“I choose to look for employment in an environment that is more personal in terms of providing [success] to our students,” he said. “Community colleges are a perfect place for that.”

Martinez also described the importance of fundraising through a variety of forms.

“Fundraising is the ability to find sources,” he said. “You can find those in many forms, whether it’s through state and federal grants, whether it’s through corporations, whether it’s in the form of a gift from individuals. I would say that 75 percent of fundraising really comes from individuals.”

He felt the president of the college should be active in finding new ways to raise school funds.

“The role of the president is to be able to find all the resources to enhance what you have,” he said.

He also focused on the importance of a strong general educational based “core” so that students are able to critically think,  are able to communicate in terms of the spoken and written word and increase how much they know, including technological knowledge.