(Image By Ryan Barba/The Citizen)
April 27th, 2021
By Gabe Johnson, Staff Writer
This April 13 Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees meeting opened with grateful well wishes and congratulations, as several trustees and other members of the board took the time to express what an honor it had been to work under interim chancellor Dr. Carla Walter, who resigned due to personal reasons March 11. Jannett Jackson, former president of College of Alameda, will replace Walter as interim chancellor beginning April 16.
Following the proclamation for Walter, Associated Students of College of Alameda (ASCOA) senator Lauren Wallace discussed graduation and student elections, and Associated Students of Berkeley City College (ASBCC) president Liam Zhu touched on the approval of $5,600 in funding for Clipper cards for students, as well as student elections.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Laney College psychology instructor and Umoja Program coordinator Kimberly King spoke about Black Minds Matter at Peralta, which is working to eliminate campus policing by replacing it with restorative justice. “Black Minds Matter has compiled a holistic safety plan that has been endorsed by the Laney College student senate, the Peralta district academic senate, and all four faculty senates,” King explained.
After public comment, Walter turned the meeting over to the four Peralta College presidents for various updates on enrollment, student resources, on-campus workshops, COVID-19 awareness, technological additions to the schools, faculty and counselor shout outs, new tenure reports, scholarships and partnerships. Laney College’s president Rudy Besikof took time to give a congratulatory shout-out to a few staff members from the Peralta Citizen, highlighting David Rowe and Pamela Rudd for being regional finalists for the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award.
Interim Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Adil Ahmed gave trustees an update about CARES Act and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) funding, which could assist the district in providing everything from emergency grants to students, faculty stipends, and also PPE health and safety necessities.
Debra Weintraub of the Citizens’ Oversight Committee also briefed the trustees about the Measure E parcel tax, which was passed by voters during the 2018 election in order to support academic programs such as math, science and English, and prepare students for transfer to four-year universities. Ahmed explained how the parcel tax is distributed between the four Peralta campuses, along with some figures to go along with the report. The discussion ended with parcel tax oversight committee speakers Oscar Porter and Debra Weintraub speaking briefly about the committee’s future. “I’m really glad that the majority of the money is going towards instruction,” Weintraub said. Her report stressed the question: has the parcel tax improved student access to their education?
“We believe that that is the intent of the language of the parcel tax,” Wientraub said. She also explained how district support to the committee could improve by way of more comparative data and recruiting new members.
Stay tuned for the following board of trustees meeting, which will be held Tuesday, April 27th.