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Laney College President’s Report – January 25, 2024

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Not Even Rain Can Dampen On-Campus Enrollment Efforts

On January 13th and 20th, Laney College staff, counselors, classroom faculty, and administrators continued the tradition of holding this successful onsite registration event for returning students and the public. Despite inclement weather, the College’s One-Stop planning group managed to offer all pre-semester services while providing breakfast, and even in a downpour, students still took advantage. Along with One-Stop Saturdays, Laney’s SOAR center specialists conducted information sessions in December and January to support students with enrollment and completion of FAFSA and Dream Act paperwork.

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Many thanks to our community partners as well as the staff in Student Services and other parts of the College who gave of their Saturdays to help students. Later in the term, to promote classes that begin in March and provide support for students to submit paperwork to graduate, Laney will be holding a similar event and invite great partners such as OUSD to participate.


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Mongolian Student Leaders Share Needs, Recruitment Efforts over Coffee & Doughnuts

Following a well-attended December friendship event with Oakland’s Mongolian Community, President Besikof visited the Asian Pacific American Student Success (APASS) Center for a roundtable discussion with students and employees who are bringing more students to Laney. Showing appreciation for these students and colleagues’ efforts to promote the College, the group was treated to breakfast, and a conversation ensued about further outreach, support, and community relations-building activities that need to continue, most notably Peralta’s Free College efforts.

Following the breakfast, many of the same students pictured below, along with colleagues Huizhen Su, Arlene Lontoc, and Diana Devaasseuran gave of their time to provide volunteer support, including interpreting, at Laney’s One-Stop Saturday and Information Session events. Speaking with APASS Director David Lee afterward, President Besikof remarked that he was in awe that enrolled students such as these would value the college to the point of promoting it within their own community on their own initiative.


Upcoming Podcasts

The Laney College President’s Desk podcast just recorded its 61st episode. Upcoming shows will feature former City Councilman and community business leader Loren Taylor, a spotlight broadcast on Laney’s Student Services, and a special show highlighting Laney’s innovative, Guided Pathways-based SOAR program. Recent podcasts hosted by KGPC Station Director Felicia Bridges, Student Randi Cross, and President Besikof include the following, which are hyperlinked:


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Laney Celebrates the Life of Library Colleague Douglas Banks

Laney College mourns the loss of Douglas Banks, an employee of the District for nearly 20 years, who passed peacefully on January 10, 2024.

Douglas started his career with the college in 1995 working for the Peralta Police as a parking lot attendant. After the District moved security services to the Alameda County Sherriff’s Office, Douglas joined the staff of Laney Library where he worked as a Library Technician II. Over the years, he became a mainstay at the library, serving as the evening lead at the Loan Desk. He provided a wide range of circulation services and technical assistance to students, easily and enthusiastically adapting to new technology and systems.

Douglas was kind, smart, funny, creative, and curious. He was an artist and a free spirit. He could hold forth on an extraordinary range of topics, contributing insight and amazing facts gleaned from his extensive reading interests. Laney will miss him dearly.



This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Rudy Besikof, Laney College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. To view it as a PDF, click here.

Tags: Laney College, President's Report


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