Dr Joel Kinnamon to succeed former COD president Jerry Patton
by Gabriel Robles
It is immediately clear that one is in the presence of a leader when introduced the new President and Superintendent of College of the Desert, Dr. Joel Kinnamon. His calm demeanor is met by a firm, and reassuring handshake of a business man. He seeks to keep the standards and prestige of one of the top ranked community colleges in California above par.
Kinnamon, a first generation college graduate in his family, is also a junior college graduate. He attended Seminal Jr. College in Oklahoma, and then transferred to Oklahoma State University. There he received a B.S. in Agricultural Economics followed by an M.B.A.. Later he earned a Doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University and became a Dean at a local community college. Shortly later Kinnamon moved to the Bay area where he was a Chancellor for two Community colleges. When he learned that former College of the Desert President Jerry Patton planned to retire earlier this year, he decided to apply and was chosen as Patton’s successor.
Like any new environment one must gain their footing. When asked if he faced any obstacles with the new position Kinnamon said, “With any new position there are new things to learn, however with the support of the community, faculty and staff, and the Phenomenal COD Alumni Association, it was easier than expected.” Kinnamon entered the position as President in the midst of a bout of controversy surrounding the COD football and P.S.A. programs; however, he has promised that the appropriate corrective measures are being taken and he has not let it affect the fall 2012 semester.
Stepping into a position of this significance and facing deep budget issues can be difficult; however, Kinnamon believes in utilizing all available resources that will make it easier for students to succeed and continue to pursue a higher education. He plans to continue to provide ample support for campus programs such as TRIO, DSPS, and EOPS. These programs provide a wide range of assistance for students ranging from books, note takers, and supplies, to bus passes for students with transportation needs.
As President, Dr. Kinnamon is excited and eager to embrace the future. He says, “College of the Desert is in a time of great expansion and innovation with new green buildings and campuses planned to open in the near future.”