Incoming Fresno State president talks with Action News

May 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A candid one-on-one interview with the incoming Fresno State president - how he plans to connect with students and his vision for the university.

It is Dr. Joseph Castro's first television interview and the first time he was able to sit down with Action News.

Sporting a bulldog tie and a bulldog pin, Castro says he's been pretty busy immersing himself in all things Fresno State.

"I think its fair to say that I've been drinking from a fire hose for a week and a half," Castro said.

There's a lot on his to-do list for his first day on the job..he needs to find a new provost to serve as chief academic officer - someone who will help him continue to advance the academic programs at Fresno State - and he says he's got a lot of ground to cover, literally and physically.

"I'm going to get out and meet as many students as I can whether it's in the classroom doing a little teaching or walking the campus, I plan to do that as often as I can to meet people," Castro said.

He does admit it might be a little difficult to meet every single one of the more than 20 thousand students at Fresno State but he's got other plans for that - plans that involve logging onto his computer.

"I've started to use Twitter already, I've noticed a lot of students are connecting with me through social media," Castro said.

The Hanford native brings 23 years of experience in administration and academics from the University of California. He plans to use his background to connect with his new faculty members with the community and with students.

He says he wants them to know about his open door policy and has already met with the incoming student body president.

"Whenever they need something, let me know, I'll be there to understand that I may not always do what they want me to do, but if I don't they'll understand why," Castro said.

Castro says his close knit family is elated to have him home - his familial ties often show up in his professional world in ways he'll always be proud of.

"My personality is that I'm going to listen carefully, my grandmother taught me and that's served me well and I'm going to listen and understand and base actions on that," Castro said.

Castro also announced that he'll be creating a committee to help him make a smooth transition into office.

His first day on the job is August 1.


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