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Dr. Denise Richardson Selected to Serve as Next Berkeley City College President


OAKLAND, Calif., October 10, 2023 – During the regular Peralta Community College District (PCCD) Board of Trustees meeting this evening, Dr. Ronald McKinley, Interim Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Employee Relations for the district, announced the appointment of Dr. Denise Richardson to serve as the permanent President of Berkeley City College (BCC). She has been working as Interim President at BCC since July 1, 2023. Previously, Dr. Richardson was the Vice President of Instruction at Merritt College, a role she began in March 2020. She has been an employee of the district for over 20 years, starting as a faculty member at Laney College in 2001.


Dr. Richardson follows Dr. Angélica Garcia, the previous Berkeley City College President, who stepped down at the end of June to become the President / Superintendent of Santa Rosa Junior College on July 1, 2023.

Dr. Richardson is an educational leader committed to respectful communication, facilitating equitable outcomes, and data-informed decision-making. She is a forward-thinking strategist focused on providing students with high-quality instruction, and faculty and classified professionals with current technology and relevant professional development. Following her tenure in the classroom, she has been an effective administrator with a ten-year record of demonstrating responsible budget management, supporting innovative curriculum and program development, and making hiring decisions that consider the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) goals of the college.

The appointment follows a national search that drew applicants from all over California and as far away as Florida. A screening committee made up of faculty, classified professionals, and administrators at BCC and across the district reviewed the applications, conducted the first round of interviews, and recommended three finalists with public community forums taking place at Berkeley City College on September 21st.

Dr. Jannett N. Jackson, Interim Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District was the hiring manager and noted, “Each of the finalists were excellent, experienced, and proven community college leaders; so, I want to thank the screening committee and the Human Resources department for their great work. Ultimately, Dr. Richardson is the best choice for Berkeley City College now, and into the future. She lives right here in Berkeley, and her unwavering support for this community and its students is evidenced by her over twenty years of employment within the Peralta district. It was difficult, but it was the right choice.”

“I’m so grateful to Chancellor Jackson and to the Board of Trustees for choosing me to continue to lead the incredible team of faculty, classified professionals, and administrators at Berkeley City College,” said Dr. Richardson. “We are already making great progress on my top three priorities, which are cultivating a collaborative campus community, closing the student achievement gap for Black and Brown students in alignment with BCC’s Educational Master Plan, and strengthening the identity of Berkeley City College as a hub for academic excellence and social justice.”

President Richardson continued, “There’s always more to do and I look forward to working with student leaders and employees alike to achieve our goals, like standardizing our tri-chair model of participatory governance, closing the Black and Brown student achievement gap 75% by 2025, and hosting a student speaker series on social justice issues. Berkeley City College is more than just the best school for students looking to transfer to UC Berkeley – we've got programs literally for everyone!  From high school students looking for dual enrollment opportunities to earn college credit to lifelong learners looking for art programs. And it is not too late to take advantage of our Fall is Free fee waiver with Late Start classes beginning in October.”

Dr. Richardson’s contract for the presidency will be formally ratified by the Board of Trustees at their October 24, 2023, meeting. 

About Berkeley City College
Berkeley City College’s mission is to promote student success, to provide our diverse community with educational opportunities, and to transform lives. Just two blocks from the University of California, Berkeley, the energetic campus of Berkeley City College stands on the cutting edge of community college education. University preparation and occupational training classes form the core of Berkeley City’s curriculum, which also features model programs in fields as diverse as American sign language, biotechnology, and multimedia. To learn more about Berkeley City College, visit www.berkeleycitycollege.edu

About 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 channel 27/28, AT&T channel 99) and public radio KGPC-LP 96.9 FM. To learn more about the Peralta Colleges, visit www.peralta.edu.

Tags: Berkeley City College


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