District entering into negotiations with current Acting Chancellor

September 25, 2020

By David Rowe, Copy Editor

The Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees is entering into contract negotiations with Carla Walter, who is slated to become the district’s interim chancellor, according to an announcement circulated to the Peralta community.

Walter is currently the acting chancellor, a position she assumed on July 18 after the previous chancellor, Regina Stanback Stroud, resigned nine months into her contract. Prior to becoming acting chancellor, Walter was the district’s vice chancellor of finance and administration, and she assumed the role according to Board Policy 2432.

Earlier in her career, Walter was an associate professor of business at Missouri Southern State University and at California Lutheran University. Walter earned both her BA in economics and her PhD in dance history and theory from the University of California, Riverside.  

When appointed to the acting chancellor position in July, Walter praised “the resilience and commitment of this community of educators, classified professionals and administrators” and thanked the district for the “opportunity to lead while we continue to focus on safely and responsibly serving students and our community.”

The search for the interim chancellor began after the highly publicized departure of Stanback Stroud, whose letter of resignation included a list of accusations against the board. Those issues, Stroud wrote, would “undermine the district’s ability to attract and retain leadership at the executive level.” 

The expedited search ended Wednesday during a special board meeting where the decision was made to open negotiations with Walter. The board hopes to have the contract finalized for the next regular board meeting on September 29. 

Board of Trustees President Julina Bonilla characterized Walter’s shift from acting to interim chancellor as “a seamless transition in CEO leadership” and praised her “background in both education and finance” which Bonilla sees as “critical to the district’s path forward in improving our fiscal health.” 

Walter observed in July that the district “has made tremendous progress over the past year in addressing long standing financial challenges while simultaneously dealing with a global pandemic, adapting our instruction and student support services to an online environment.”

During a media teleconference Thursday, The Citizen asked California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley for his assessment of Peralta’s financial situation. Oakley said that while he was “pleased with the significant progress” that has been made, he remains concerned about other issues, most notably the “lack of stable leadership,” which he sees as “necessary for progress.” 

Oakley said he plans to work closely with the new interim chancellor to ensure the recommended steps toward financial recovery are followed. 

With an interim chancellor now in place, the board turns its attention to finding a permanent chancellor. During a meeting on Sept. 22, the Board of Governors and Oakley presented the Peralta Board of Trustees with a “comprehensive plan to ensure further progress is made at the district” that includes hiring a permanent chancellor by March 1. During the meeting, Oakley said he would be willing to extend the deadline if progress was made and that progress was communicated to the chancellor’s office.