Tuesday, October 15

UCLA Early Care and Education names interim Krieger Center director

The director of a UCLA child care center was placed on an indefinite leave last week and replaced by an interim director.

Moises Roman, who was the director of the Krieger Center in the UCLA Early Care and Education program, will be replaced by Sue Ballentine, announced Brad Erickson, the executive director of Campus Service Enterprises. Erickson said he would not specify why Roman was put on leave because of confidentiality laws.

Ballentine, who has worked for the ECE for 18 years, will immediately take over Roman’s role as interim director, Erickson said in an email statement. She served as a Krieger Center director and was formerly a director at the Pacific Oaks Children’s School and the elementary school and preschool St. James’ Episcopal School.

Officials are searching for someone to permanently fill Roman’s position, Erickson said.

The management change comes a couple months after a task force completed its investigation of the ECE. The task force was commissioned by Scott Waugh, executive vice chancellor and provost, after parents said the center had a hostile environment for parents and teachers, as well as a high turnover rate. In February, the task force released its findings and made suggestions for improvements.

[Related link: UCLA Early Care and Education task force to enact changes in leadership]

Shortly before the task force released its report, Jayanti Tambe, the ECE executive director, resigned to pursue a graduate degree. Several parents accused Tambe of being the catalyst for problems at the ECE.

The task force recommended that officials hire a new executive director and clarify the role of site directors. Before the investigation, some parents said they felt some site directors favored certain teachers and poorly managed the ECE sites.

The task force also recommended hiring a new administrative director who would deal with tasks unrelated to child care, including human resources, finance and Title IX compliance.

Gerardo Soto, who was a teacher and director for the Fernald Center, also resigned from his position Monday. Child care center officials have not yet announced Soto’s replacement.

Erickson said he is working with ECE staff, parents and UCLA officials to implement task force recommendations.

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Reyes is the Daily Bruin's News editor and an Editorial Board member. Previously, she was the Science & Health editor covering research, the UCLA health system and graduate school news. She also writes Arts & Entertainment stories and photographs for the Bruin.

Kim is the assistant news editor for the campus politics beat. She was previously a contributor for the beat.

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