Dr. Rudy Besikof and Dr. Nathaniel Jones III

New Presidents of Laney College, College of Alameda Announced by Peralta Community College District

Dr. Rudy Besikof appointed President of Laney College and Dr. Nathaniel Jones III appointed President of College of Alameda

Oakland — The Peralta Community College District has appointed Dr. Rudy Besikof President of Laney College and Dr. Nathaniel Jones III President of the College of Alameda.

Dr. Besikof served as Interim President at Laney and Dr. Jones served as Vice President at Moreno Valley College in Riverside County prior to their selections this week by the PCCD search committees.

“We are pleased to announce the appointment of two exceptional leaders, Dr. Besikof and Dr. Jones,” said interim PCCD Chancellor Carla Walter. “We were fortunate to have an excellent field of candidates compete for these important positions. With Dr. Besikof and Dr. Jones we have selected administrators who are dedicated educators that will continue to build on the progress we are making for students, faculty, staff and our communities.”

Dr. Besikof and Dr. Jones each thanked the PCCD search committees and said they were honored to accept their appointments.

“I look forward with anticipation in carrying on the legacy of my predecessor at Laney,” Dr. Besikof said. “My goal is to provide the counseling, tutoring, technology, academic support and basic support to students to help them accomplish their educational, career, and life objectives.”

Dr. Jones said “I am committed to a student-centered education. Creating a culture of diversity and inclusion is vital in making these important attributes a dynamic part of the fabric of the educational process.”

The Peralta Community College District serves 30,000 students at four colleges in Alameda County. Laney is the largest of the four colleges with 16,000 students. College of Alameda serves approximately 6,600 students and is celebrating its 50th anniversary in December 2020.

Background on Dr. Rudy Besikof

Dr. Rudy Besikof
Dr. Rudy Besikof

Dr. Besikof has been at Laney College since 2018, when he was hired as its Vice President of Instruction, the same position he previously held at Mt. San Jacinto College for more than two years prior to joining Laney.

Prior to becoming a Chief Instructional Officer in 2016, he served for five years as a dean, first at Woodland Community College as its Dean of Instruction and Learning Resources, and later at Los Angeles Valley College as a Dean of Academic Affairs. Prior to becoming an administrator in 2011, Dr. Besikof taught English and English as a Second/Foreign Language in two and four-year colleges not only in California, but also in Colorado, Japan, and France.

Dr. Besikof is a 2010 graduate of UCLA’s Educational Leadership Program. His dissertation, The Role of the Community College President in Fundraising: A Best Practices Study, was recognized with the UCLA School of Education’s Outstanding Dissertation Award.

As Laney’s Interim President, Dr. Besikof has focused on increasing the number of students who graduate with degrees or certificates, improving enrollment numbers, supporting online classes during the pandemic, and continuing the implementation of Guided Pathways, and reaffirming Laney’s accreditation status.

Background on Dr. Nathaniel Jones III Ph.D., MBA

Dr. Nathaniel Jones III
Dr. Nathaniel Jones III

Prior to his permanent appointment as President of College of Alameda, Dr. Nathaniel Jones III was Vice President, Business Services at Moreno Valley College of the Riverside Community College District. Dr. Jones oversaw Moreno Valley College’s Comprehensive Master Plan Update and played a leadership role in the college’s reaccreditation and other strategic College and District priorities including Guided Paths implementation, Call to Action Against Racism, redesign of the Budget Allocation Model, and the COVID-19 response. Dr. Jones also stewarded several bond-funded capital projects that sought to provide students with high quality instructional and support services facilities.

Dr. Jones’ professional career has spanned more than 33 years of which the past 20 years have been in higher education. He has held administrative and faculty positions at University of California, Riverside; Pepperdine University; Dartmouth College; Northern Arizona University; and the University of Maryland.

He earned a Ph.D. in Health Policy in 2002 from the University of Maryland after completing a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Jones is a thoughtful and creative leader who enjoys spending time with family, playing tennis, and teaching Sunday-school to fourth graders.

“I look forward to bringing my skills in strategic planning, fiscal matters, instruction, research and evaluation to the College of Alameda and working closely with students, faculty and staff to build upon the College’s progress,” Dr. Jones said.

College of Alameda

College of Alameda (CoA) is a two-year community college located at 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Pkwy, Alameda, California. The college has been inspiring students to achieve academic success since 1970 and is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2020. Situated on a beautiful park-like campus on the island city of Alameda, CoA offers academic programs that transfer to four-year universities and workforce training programs in a variety of career areas. Students of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to enroll. To learn more, visit https://alameda.peralta.edu/

Laney College

Laney College (https://laney.edu/about/) is the largest of the four Peralta Community College District campuses, serving approximately 16,000 students annually. Laney College stretches across sixty acres in downtown Oakland, California, one of the most ethnically and economically diverse cities in America. The Laney College service area includes the adjacent cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and Piedmont. It also draws students from the Greater Bay Area because of its reputation for diversity and high quality technical training. Laney is also one of the oldest community colleges in the nation, celebrating 67 years in 2020.

Peralta Community College District

Founded in 1964, the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) is a collaborative community of colleges comprised of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Laney and Merritt colleges in Oakland, Calif. The Peralta Colleges provide a dynamic multicultural learning environment offering accessible, high-quality educational programs and services, including two-year degrees, certificates and university transfer programs, to more than 30,000 students. PCCD is home to award-winning Peralta TV (Comcast ch. 27/28, AT&T ch. 99) and community radio KGPC-LP 96.9 FM. To learn more about The Peralta Colleges, visit www.peralta.edu

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