COA President takes temporary assignment to lead the District Finance and Administration Department; COA Vice President of Instruction to become Acting President
OAKLAND, Calif., September 6, 2022 – Earlier today, Peralta Community College District Interim Chancellor Dr. Jannett N. Jackson notified employees regarding a leadership change at the College of Alameda (COA), with Dr. Diana Bajrami to become Acting President on September 12, 2022, filling in for Dr. Nathaniel Jones III, who is on a temporary assignment as Acting Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration for the District. The temporary assignments for both Dr. Jones and Dr. Bajrami are for six months, with an option to extend if needed.
Dr. Jackson commented, “Dr. Bajrami has almost 30 years of progressively responsible educational administrative and leadership experience in the California Community College system and abroad. She is a testament to how hard work and tenacity breeds success and is a symbol to our diverse immigrant population, demonstrating that they too can succeed.”
The chain of events leading to Dr. Bajrami’s appointment began on August 1, 2022, when Adil Ahmed, who has very capably served as the head of Peralta’s Finance and Administration department since July 2020, requested to step back from his current position of Interim Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration and resume his permanent position as Associate Vice Chancellor of Finance.
During a speech to the faculty on August 17, 2022, Chancellor Jackson announced that Dr. Nathaniel Jones III, College of Alameda President, would temporarily move to the District Office as Acting Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration.
Dr. Jones has strong fiscal planning, analysis, and leadership acumen, and will play a critical role in overseeing efforts to enhance district-wide internal financial controls, improve the Finance department’s operational effectiveness, and lead the transition to a new resource and budget allocation model that aligns with the state chancellor’s Student-Centered Funding Formula (SCFF). Dr. Jones has more than 15 years of experience as a Chief Financial Officer and direct experience helping institutions adopt new funding and budgeting models as an administrator and consultant. In addition to his doctorate in health policy, he has an MBA, taught courses on Health Care Financing, and Economics, and co-authored a book chapter discussing the use of incentives to influence professionalism in health care and education. The use of fiscal incentives is a foundational element of the SCFF.
Dr. Jones commented, “Things are going very well at the College of Alameda. I want to thank all the faculty, classified professionals, and administrators for your hard work and collaboration since I joined in December 2020. While it was not my plan to step away from leading COA as President, I do so in the belief that my work will benefit both the District and College of Alameda. I look forward to continuing to work with all my wonderful COA colleagues and the rest of the District as the Acting Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration.”
Dr. Bajrami has been a member of the Peralta family since 2001 in various faculty, shared governance leadership, and administrative roles ranging from full-time Economics faculty to Interim Vice President of Student Services at Berkeley City College, to her current position as Vice President of Instruction at COA. She is an experienced educator and leader who has spent nearly thirty years working to ensure high-quality instruction and equitable student success at both two-year and four-year colleges in the United States and abroad. Diana is also a proven leader in the development and assessment of measurable student learning outcomes in both student and academic services and has extensive experience in program review, accreditation, organizational management, fiscal stewardship, grant writing, enrollment management, evaluation, and professional development.
Dr. Jones noted, “I am heartened by the knowledge that COA will be in good hands under the leadership of Dr. Diana Bajrami, as Acting President. Dr. Bajrami will thoughtfully and competently continue the good work that the COA leadership team has done together to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, strategic enrollment management, strong fiscal stewardship, and Guided Pathways.”
During her tenure as the College of Alameda Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Bajrami has made significant improvements in enrollment and budgetary stewardship. While keeping the Full-Time Equivalent Faculty (FTEF) allocation within budget, COA was able to achieve a year-to-year increase in summer enrollment and attained the highest productivity level in the District. “Given enrollment is a critical component of our long-term fiscal health, these accomplishments within a short period of time bode well for COA – and for the district’s future,” said Chancellor Jackson.
Dr. Bajrami noted, “I am so honored and humbled to serve as the Acting President of the COA family. As I have done through the years, I will continue to stay committed, consistent and collaborative in ensuring that we continue to deliver academic excellence and offer innovative courses, programs, and services while being a great community partner and a responsible steward of public funds. Education has bettered my life and the life of my entire family, and I will work tirelessly to ensure that COA continues to improve lives and communities by providing equitable access and success to our community members.”