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

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A cap at the Laney College commencement ceremony on May 24 reads in Spanish, This is for my mom who gave me everything. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
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Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
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Peralta district finds new CTO from within its own ranks

Antoine Mehouelley selected after nationwide search
Antoine Mehouelley was appointed as the Peralta district’s new Chief Technology & Information Systems Officer by the Board of Trustees on March 9 after a five month nationwide search. (Photo: Peralta GEMS newsletter)

Five months after announcing a nationwide search for a new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), the Peralta district decided to promote from within to fill the position.

Antoine Mehouelley, who has served as Peralta’s Director of Technology Services for the past five years, was named the new Chief Technology & Information Systems Officer by the Board of Trustees at the March 9 meeting. The announcement was made after a second closed session that evening. Prior to assuming his position with the district in 2016, Mehouelley worked in various roles for the Laney College IT department for 14 years.

Mehouelley, originally from Senegal in West Africa, earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Dakar. He also took classes at Laney College, earning a certification from Laney’s “Cisco Academy,” a partnership between the college and the Bay Area networking company.

Mark Johnson, Peralta’s Executive Director of Marketing, Communications & Public Relations, described Mehouelley’s story as “inspiring as an immigrant and Laney alumni success.” He also praised Mehouelley’s “focus on the importance of collaborative governance to inform decision making and aid communication across the District and Colleges.”

Mehouelley managed the first phase of Peralta’s recent upgrade of its PeopleSoft computer system which launched on February 16 with what Johnson said were relatively few issues. Interim Chancellor Carla Walter praised Mehouelley’s work in a letter to the Peralta community on February 16.

“I want to thank Director Antoine Mehouelley, the District IT team, and the Oracle team who have worked on this project tirelessly over the past nine months – often including nights, weekends, and holidays” Walter wrote.

The Citizen called Mehouelley but he declined to comment due to district policy. He did confirm, however, that the district will be hiring a new Director of Technology Services to fill his current position which will allow him to focus on his expanded responsibilities as CTO.

Mehouelley’s new position will require him to work at a more strategic level, as described in the job description posted by the district last October. According to that document, Mehouelley will be “responsible for providing a vision and leadership for the integration of IT services consistent with the District’s overall mission and program needs.” He will also be representing the district at “national meetings dealing with technology issues.”

Mehouelley will report directly to Walter. The base salary for the position is $161,402 plus benefits of $85,490 and a stipend of $3,600, according to a document presented to the Board of Trustees at its October 13, 2020 meeting.

One responsibility not mentioned in the job description is negotiation with IT vendors such as Oracle. This has been an ongoing concern for Trustee Linda Handy, who has long advocated for the hiring of either a CIO (Chief Information Officer) or CTO for the Peralta district. She compared vacancies in those positions during a major IT upgrade to a candy store where the owner is out to lunch and vendors such as Oracle take advantage.

Handy and several other Trustees questioned Oracle’s addition of licensing fees to the PeopleSoft upgrade project at the November 10 Board of Trustees meeting. Those licensing costs are $312,892 per year, or $1.6 million over the five year life of the contract. Based on an earlier presentation in late May 2020 by former Chancellor Regina Stanback Stroud and former interim general counsel Delisle Warden, Handy and the other trustees thought the package cost of $6.3 million was all-inclusive, which turned out not to be the case.

About the Contributor
David Rowe
David Rowe, Associate Editor
After a 40 year career in advertising, David is considering journalism as his “second act” and preparing himself for that new profession by taking classes at Laney. During his days in advertising, Rowe headed up the media departments for a number of leading ad agencies in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. In this capacity, he was responsible for the planning and placement of tens of millions of dollars of paid media. A high point of his career was placing Intel’s first Super Bowl TV ad in 1997. Rowe has a lifelong interest in journalism dating back to high school in San Jose where he started an underground newspaper called, appropriately enough, The Del Mar Free Press. The school administration threatened to suspend him, so Rowe, with the help of his attorney father, sued the school district in Federal Court and won and injunction. Ultimately, the case was decided in his favor and California state law regarding the rights of high school students was re-written as a result. Rowe is a political junkie who enjoys watching all the Sunday morning news programs and is actively involved in the Joe Biden presidential campaign this year.
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