Laney College

Laney to Hold Open Forum Interviews for Vice President of Instruction Candidates

Laney to Hold Open Forum Interviews for Vice President of Instruction Candidates

Laney College faculty, classified staff, and students are invited to meet the candidates for the next Vice President of Instruction position.

Please join us in an open forum as the two candidates share their vision and goals for Laney.

When: Monday, April 16

Location: Tower Administration Building, 8th floor, Room T-850.


Rudolph Besikof – 12 p.m. to 12:50 p.m.

Lisa Cook – 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.



Rudolph Besikof

Dr. Rudy Besikof is excited for the opportunity to join Laney College.  His career in education began in 1989 and is rich with diverse experience from his time not only in Colorado and California, but also overseas.

Dr. Besikof has served as an educational leader since 2011.  In February 2016, he became the Vice President of Instructional Services at Mt. San Jacinto College in California, which enrolls over 27,000 students at five locations across a service area that spans more than 1700 square miles.   His experience also includes five years as a dean, first as the Dean of Instruction and Learning Resources at Woodland Community College from 2011-2013, where his areas of responsibility included supervision of all academic programs and instructional support services as well as the college’s satellite facility.  He was also Dean of Languages and Performing Arts at Los Angeles Valley College from 2013-2016, where, along with eight departments, he supervised Athletics and development of the college schedule.

Since becoming an educational administrator in 2011, Dr. Besikof has often engaged the community, particularly educational and industry partners, as well as civic and regional leadership.  Most recently, he has represented his college on one city’s task force on homelessness, and because of his work with regional business leaders, he is one of two higher education representatives who sits on the California Inland Empire’s District Export Council, a seat gained via an appointment from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Dr. Besikof holds a Doctor of Education Degree as a 2010 graduate of UCLA’s Educational Leadership Program. His dissertation, The Role of the Community College President in Fundraising: A Best Practices Study, received the UCLA School of Education’s Outstanding Dissertation Award. He has since presented his findings at conferences and been published in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice.

Prior to becoming a Dean, Dr. Besikof taught English as a Second Language in France, Japan, Colorado, and California.   He has also delivered community college English course online in addition to teaching Applied Linguistics and Educational Leadership at the graduate and doctoral levels, respectively.


Lisa Cook

With over 20 years in community colleges, Lisa Cook is currently Dean of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and Mathematics at Berkeley City College. In addition to planning the development and implementation of the instructional offerings of a large division, Lisa provides leadership for college initiatives to transform basic skills instruction, transition adult learners to college programs, develop a teacher preparation pipeline, and build learning communities. Lisa’s commitment to and support of Berkeley College’s mission was recognized with a President’s Award in 2017.

In her prior position as ESOL instructor at Laney College for 18 years, Lisa was a strong advocate for students and faculty through her work as program coordinator, department chair, accreditation faculty lead and faculty senate president. She played an integral role in the redesign of the ESOL program, expansion of learning support services and institution of the Laney Eagle peer recognition award and annual faculty senate retreat.  She received five district and college awards for excellent service, including Faculty of the Year in 2016.

Recognized as a leader in ESL and basic skills program redesign and accelerated learning, Lisa has been invited to facilitate workshops and institutes at eight California community colleges as well as several local and national conferences.  Most recently, she was invited by the Public Policy Institute of California and the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University to share effective leadership strategies to implement equity-minded redesign of academic pathways for ESL students as part of a presentation on innovative ways California community colleges are supporting ESL students and implementing Assembly Bill 705.

Lisa is committed to providing direct support that is in response to the needs and experiences of students and faculty while advancing diversity, inclusion and equity. She holds a bachelor’s degree in writing and poetics from Naropa University, a master’s degree in applied linguistics (English language studies) from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and two certificates in online teaching and learning.


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