Co-Editor-in-Chief Jeff Gonzales also contributed to the writing of this story. It has been run under a single name, with this note, to overcome certain limitations of our platform.
American River College has two new presidents this semester. Dr. Marie Smith will fill the position as interim president for the first half of the semester, followed by Dr. Bill Karns, who will start on Sept. 28. Students and faculty may remember Dr. Smith from the nearly ten years she served the school as president, from 1995-2004.
“It’s wonderful to be back,” Smith said in an interview with The Current.
Both interim presidents are retired from the Los Rios Community College District and are under certain employment regulations. The time they are allowed to work for the school system is limited due to the California State Teacher’s Retirement System cap on the amount that can be earned by a retiree in a year. To bypass this problem they were both hired for only half of the fall semester.
“I’m hoping (the transition to Karns) will be seamless for students,” Smith said. “We are in weekly contact and I’m sending him copies of everything I’m doing.”
Smith also keeps Karns up to date on all of her meetings and any changes, as well as any events that will occur before Karns takes over the presidency.
She also intends to move forward with the student success plans that former president Dr. David Viar put in place.
“I don’t have an agenda,” Smith said. “My agenda is (to continue) AR’s agenda.”
She has placed an emphasis on helping students utilize the many resources available at ARC.
“We need to marshal all the forces to help you complete your goals,” she said.
Smith’s plans for her time here also involve preparing the school for the arrival of a new president in the spring. She believes that the school needs a good, effective leader who will be dedicated to the success of the students and the school in the long-term. She is also helping to prepare the school for its upcoming accreditation evaluation in the fall of 2015.