As a finalist for Chancellor, Dr. Rudy Besikof brings a continuing, unwavering commitment to the Peralta Community College District. He joined Laney College in 2018, as Vice President of Instruction before becoming President in July 2020, a position he still holds. During this time, he has guided the College to the reaffirmation of accreditation, full investment in Guided Pathways, two separate rebounds in enrollment, and Free College initiatives that have helped Laney and the community in their emergence from the global pandemic. Focusing on critical student barriers around poverty, the College has enjoyed enrollment increases, especially among its Latinx, African American, and AAPI communities. Throughout his presidency, he has emphasized relationship-building with community, business, education, and political leaders, including securing an institutional membership for his college in Oakland Rotary, and leading area Adult Education Leaders as the President of the Northern Alameda Adult Education Collective’s Executive Cabinet. Such engagement continues, as he will soon be sworn in as a member of the Oakland Workforce Development Board. He communicates the work being done through his podcast, The President’s Desk, which airs on radio and television.
President Besikof earned his doctorate as a 2010 graduate of UCLA's Educational Leadership Program. His dissertation, focusing on effective fundraising practice, earned the UCLA School of Education's Outstanding Dissertation Award. He will be continuing his growth as an educator this year, having been admitted to UC Davis’s Wheelhouse Institute.
Dr. Besikof has been in higher education since 1990, first as an instructor and then tenured faculty member of 7 years at Long Beach City College before becoming an administrator in 2011. In total, he served five years as a Chief Instructional Officer and five as a Dean before becoming President. While in the classroom, Dr. Besikof taught second language students English in California, Colorado, France, and Japan, while preparing the teachers and leaders of tomorrow who took his graduate courses in Education, Applied Linguistics, and Educational Leadership.
Dr. Besikof is excited at the possibility of becoming the next PCCD Chancellor, as it will be a culmination of a professional journey that has already been beyond rewarding.