Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

New Vice President leadership at Laney announced
New Vice President leadership at Laney announced
Besikof selects Lily Espinoza and Ashish Sahni for Laney VP positions
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • May 13, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Archives
Peralta Trustee Paulina Gonzalez Brito addresses the crowd at Berkeley City College’s 50th anniversary celebration. The event featured a block party along with a groundbreaking ceremony for the college’s new Milvia Street building. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
‘We’re still rising’: BCC celebrates 50th anniversary
College throws block party and breaks ground on new building
Sam O'Neil, Associate Editor • May 6, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024
Archives

    Laney President Webb’s ‘March 15’ letter rescinded by Peralta trustees

    The long-running discussion over Laney College President Elñora Webb’s contract came to a close at the Tuesday, May 13, Peralta Board of Trustees meeting.

    Webb had received notice that her contract may not be renewed in what is colloquially referred to as a “March 15” letter, but the Board voted to renew her contract.

    The notice, issued in this case by Peralta Chancellor José Ortiz, is so named because under California Education Code section 44951, supervisory employees must be issued a notice of non-renewal by March 15. Otherwise, states the code, said employee will be considered renewed.

    Both Webb and Ortiz have declined comment on the specifics of the letter. Webb, however, confirmed that it did exist. Commenting on her role at Laney, Webb said, “As long as I am president of Laney College, I am president 100 percent.”

    Webb is not without her supporters. A host of community organizations, including the Oakland chapter of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), have backed Webb.

    In a letter dated March 25 and addressed to Ortiz, BWOPA’s Oakland chapter said, “We stand in solidarity with Dr. Webb and call for transparency in the process of evaluating her performance.

    In the absence of transparency we are left to believe that other factors, such as but not limited to differences in personality may be driving the current process.”

    Former Peralta Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs Dezie Woods Jones is the state president of BWOPA.

    Additionally, the East Bay Coalition for Action has circulated an online petition on Change.org asking Ortiz and the Peralta Board of Trustees to renew Webb’s contract. The petition had approximately 1,000 signatures at time of press.

    Critics, however, are skeptical of the East Bay Coalition for Action. Referring to the organization’s petition, Laney mathematics Professor Fred Bourgoin said, “That’s the first time I’ve heard of them.”

    Subsequent research by this reporter unearthed no information on the East Bay Coalition for Action beyond that listed on the petition.

    Additionally, a counter-petition (also on Change.org) voicing support for Ortiz’ decision to remove Webb was been started by former ASLC Vice-President Marisol Zavala Suarez. Among the many arguments made in the counter-petition are allegations of structural problems in the Laney Financial Aid Department affecting wide swaths of students.

    A summary of an Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) audit of Financial Aid, which took place August 19–23, 2013, obtained by The Tower echoes these arguments. In the summary, ECMC states that 90.2 percent (nearly 11,000 students) of Laney attendees received federal student aid at the time of the audit.

    The summary of ECMC’s audit report said, “Upon request, the school was unable to provide a copy of their current disbursement process and procedures.

    “The school did not credit loan funds to student accounts or participate in the EFT [Electronic Fund Transfer] process… The auditor asked how disbursement dates were determined and how transactions were tracked. The school did not respond to this request.”

    Laney Classified Senate President James Blake was equally critical of the community organizations supporting Webb. “These people were nowhere when it came to the interests of the students and the conditions they were facing,” Blake said.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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