Laney College President’s Report – September 13, 2023

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Fall/Spring is Free at Laney College: More Students Enrolled, Stayed through the Semester, and Re-enrolled in 2022-2023!

Laney College experienced a strong enrollment rebound in 2022-2023, during the Fall is Free and Spring is Free semesters. Fall to spring student persistence numbers -or continuation into the next semester- during these two terms was higher than it was during COVID and is heading back toward pre-COVID averages. In real numbers, 901 more students persisted from term to term in the “Free” year than in the year before, an increase of nearly 1%. 

In addition to strong persistence rates, the course success and retention rates were comparable with previous years, but with a consistent numerical increase of roughly 900 students in all key areas. With increased enrollment numbers, 913 more students got a full semester of college, and 911 more passed their classes than the year before. Community colleges need to continue to address retention, success, persistence, and completion rates, but data from 2022-23 clearly showed that free college efforts result in more student achievement at comparable rates.


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Laney One-Stop Saturdays Support Students, Community

On two Saturdays, August 12th and 19th, Laney College opened the campus from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm to provide services to students. Over 400 students came and stopped by to ask questions and took advantage of the opportunity to start the Fall 2023 semester smoothly. Thank you to all the Laney colleagues and departments that came out to help students make the best of the Laney College experience.


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Laney College Joins AAPI, Oakland Community Partners to Celebrate in Oakland Chinatown

Laney College was privileged to once again take part in the 'Building Cultural Bridges' event, held as part of the 34th Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce (OCCC) StreetFest on August 26th, 2023. Thanks as always to Oakland Chinatown Chamber for the incredible partnership with Laney, and to the many Laney colleagues who have taken the time these past three Saturdays to promote and support our students not only at the Streetfest but at other community and college events.

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Special thanks to Lai, MiaoMiao, Lisa Duong, XaVia Chang, Jiewen Deng, Battuya Nergui, Weijun Huang, Loan Le, Huizhen (Joan) Su, Pak Ho, and Dr. David Lee for volunteering, promoting Laney, and being present at the College’s event table.


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Laney Career Search Boot Camp 2023 Travels to Oakland Chinatown

Laney College is honored to support the community and help those in need achieve their goals! The Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Lao Family Community Development, Asian Health Services, and East Bay MUD partnered with Laney’s APASS program and CTE department for a successful Career Search Bootcamp.

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Participants received guidance on resume writing and job search techniques and had the
opportunity to learn about career paths and job openings from Asian Health Services and EBMUD. Thank you to President Rudy Besikof, Vice President of Student Services Dr. Marlon Hall, Adult Transition Project Manager Laura Espino, Sharon Quach, and Dr. David Lee for presenting Laney’s special programs for immigrants and Refugees. Special thanks to Raya Zion for putting together this wonderful opportunity for our students and community.


Laney College Celebrates the Lives of Colleagues Eva Clark and Phillip Tou

Longtime Laney College instructor Eva H. Clark has passed away, and funeral services are planned for September 11, 2023, with additional information below. Ms. Clark was with the District from 1966–2019, beginning her career at Vista College and teaching in a number of disciplines. Those wishing to communicate with family and survivors may contact daughter Rosanna Clark, who has informed the campus community that all are welcome to the services on the 11th, and that individuals with questions or respects may reach out directly to her.

Rosanna’s contact information and funeral details are below. Like so many who give of themselves in the field of education, Clark’s legacy will endure in the students and Peralta colleagues she impacted during her years with us.

Eva H. Clark Funeral Service

September 11, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

Brookins A.M.E. Church

Address: 2201 73rd Ave, Oakland, CA 94605

Questions or Memoriam wishes may be directed to Rosanna Clark (Daughter)

Google Phone: 925-252-5247



On Saturday, September 2, 2023, the Laney Community was saddened by the news that Chemistry Professor Phillip Tou had passed away. Professor Tou taught in the Chemistry Department at Laney for nearly two decades, and both students and colleagues in the department shared that he was a dependable and valued teacher and colleague, remembered as someone who was always willing to help.

There were several occasions when Phillip stepped up and took on additional teaching assignments when we found ourselves short-staffed. Those who had the pleasure of his acquaintance, found Phillip to be a warm and caring individual. He expressed genuine concern for the well-being of his colleagues, especially for our late department chair Stephen Corlett when he was battling cancer.

Phillip was a serious foodie who frequented the Laney Bistro and enjoyed treating colleagues to lunch at his favorite restaurants. Members of the department were frequently gifted with interesting sweets when he would return from his annual trip to Taiwan. Phillip, with his pleasant and humble demeanor, will be missed by the Laney Chemistry department (Thoughts shared on behalf of Chemistry colleagues by Professor William Trego.).

Laney College celebrates the lives of these two treasured colleagues, and we dedicate this September 12, 2023, to their memories, as well as to all who mourn their loss during this trying time.



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, September 12, 2023. To view it as a PDF, click here.

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