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. 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
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 institutions including University of California, Riverside; Pepperdine University; and Dartmouth College.
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.