Lacy starts presidential duties

Lacy starts presidential duties

Rick Gomez

Newly appointed superintendent Linda Lacy officially began her tenure at Cerritos College on Monday.

After a month long negotiation, Lacy’s start date was announced in the last board meeting on Sept. 2.

The former Vice Chancellor of Student Services and Operations of Riverside was one of two remaining candidates along with Mark Zacovic before being picked to assume acting President Bill Farmer’s responsibilities.

Prior to being chosen, she spent 23 years serving Riverside College as an instructor, coach and past interim president.

“I am excited about beginning a new phase of my career.  Of course I will miss my close friends and colleagues at RCC but this is an opportunity to forge new relationships,” Lacy said.

Along with many community colleges in California, Cerritos College has suffered from severe budget cuts this semester.

Tuition fees have increased by $6 and many classes have been cancelled that do not fill the required 20 enrollments.

Lacy knows what is first on her priority list.

“Address the budget crisis, while trying not to hinder students more than what has already happened with the elimination of classes and reduction of services,” Lacy said.

She believes one solution will be to seek funding from private and grant sources.

Other issues she would like to address are to support developmental education programs and to increase the transfer rate.

“Cerritos has several great programs in place to help students achieve their educational goals.  Again seeking alternate funding sources will help expand the programs,” Lacy added.

UCs and Cal State Universities have also cancelled their spring enrollments and limited the amount of transfers due to budget issues.

Lacy realizes the importance of transferring and is currently on a statewide transfer task force, which streamlines transfer for students.

Lacy enters Cerritos as the third president as the last three years after Farmer took over for the separated Vela in the Fall 2008.

Lacy remains optimistic despite being the third different president in as many years and is aware of the pressure to perform.

“Every president feels pressure, but Cerritos is pointed to weather the budget crisis through sound leadership,” Lacy said. “We will survive and emerge stronger.