Two college presidents and an acting chancellor were named by the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees on Wednesday.
Laurence B. Frank, who is deputy chief of staff for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, will become the new president of Los Angeles Trade–Technical College effective July 1. He will succeed current President Roland “Chip” Chapdelaine, who is retiring after seven years at the downtown Los Angeles campus.
Under Villaraigosa, Frank has been responsible for several city departments, including community development, contract administration and the workforce development program. He served as a faculty member at UCLA and director of the university’s Center for Labor Research and Education.
He has no previous college administrative experience but said his past roles make him a good fit to lead the 27,000-student campus, which has a focus on career technical education.
“It’s a dream job for me,” said Frank, 60. “We’ve had about five partnerships with Trade-Tech and I have tremendous hope for growing their capacity and serving their students more than they’re being served now. It’s the only institution where a nontraditional candidate like myself would have an opportunity to lead.”
Frank graduated with a bachelor's degree in religious studies from St. Lawrence University in New York state and received a law degree from UCLA. He has been an organizer for the United Farm Workers of America and other unions.
Trade-Tech came under scrutiny last year over alleged financial improprieties at the school’s nonprofit foundation. The Academic Senate issued a no-confidence vote in Chapdelaine.
During their regular board meeting, which took place at Mission College in Sylmar, trustees also named Renee D. Martinez as president of Los Angeles City College.
Martinez had been serving as the interim president since last August, after former President Jamillah Moore left to become chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District.
“I’m very excited to lead Los Angeles City College and work to increase the ability of our students to get certificates, degrees and transfers,” said Martinez, 66. “Our focus will be on improving student success.”
Martinez previously served as vice president of Workforce Education and Economic Development at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park and was also a professor of child development at that campus. She received a bachelor's degree in child development from Cal State L.A. and a master's in education from the University of San Francisco.
“These are two good people I know will advance the development of their respective colleges,” Chancellor Daniel LaVista said, referring to Frank and Martinez.
The district did not release precise salary information for Frank and Martinez.
LaVista announced earlier this year that he would resign his post leading the nine-campus district at the end of June. Trustees appointed Adriana D. Barrera, currently deputy chancellor, to serve as acting chancellor until LaVista’s successor is named.