Professor Jim Klent was one of the first faculty members hired by the college in the spring of 1967 and helped open Ohlone College for classes in September of that year. Jim retired in of 2005, after 38 years of service. Upon his retirement, he was granted Emeritus status.
Jim was a faithful and devoted teacher. Students remember him for making chemistry understandable and enjoyable. He was renowned for his demonstrations, often involving some sort of explosion. His friendly and accepting approach helped hundreds and hundreds of students gain a new perspective on chemistry, and science in general.
Jim designed the chemistry labs for the temporary Serra Campus when the college opened and for the Mission Boulevard campus that opened in 1974. He received eight National Science Foundation grants over the years to attend summer programs across the nation for updating and learning new skills, particularly in computer applications for chemistry.
Jim kept up to date in his field through membership in the California Association of Chemistry Teachers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Chemical Society. He served as coordinator of the Institute for Chemical Education at UC Berkeley for four years, a summer program for training high school and community college teachers.
Outside the classroom Jim was a college leader. He was instrumental in transforming the Faculty Association into the Academic Senate at Ohlone College and served as the first President. He served as Senate President for three years, Vice-President for 3 years, and campus representative to the statewide Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges for 8 years. Jim was also instrumental in forming the United Faculty of Ohlone College and was the originator of the organization’s name, the UFO. He served as division director for Science and Math for five years.
Jim was involved in the local community, serving for 13 years as a four time elected member of the Board of Trustees for the Fremont Unified School District, with three years as the president of the board.