College of the Desert Seeks Input in Search For New Superintendent

Taylor Martinez & City News Service

The Desert Community College District Board of Trustees Tuesday invited members of the public to assist in the process of choosing a new top administrator at College of the Desert.

Superintendent and President Dr. Joel Kinnamon is set to retire March 31, and college officials have released a three-question survey in an attempt to learn what qualities residents would like to see in his replacement.

The questions seek input on desired experience, qualifications and personal traits that community members want to see in a new top leader.

The survey is being handled by Community College Search Services, which specializes in locating community college executives. The Board of Trustees hired the firm to assist in the search.

Kinnamon’s forthcoming departure was announced in December. He cited his desire to focus on family concerns related to his parents.

The school will not be without a leader when Kinnamon departs. The Board of Trustees last month voted 5-0 to offer Jeff Baker, the current vice president of student services, the position of interim superintendent and president until a permanent replacement is found.

By taking the interim position, Baker will not be eligible for the permanent post, according to college officials.

Kinnamon joined the college in 2012 and has worked within multiple community college systems for more than 30 years.

During Kinnamon’s tenure, full-time student enrollment shot up by 50%, according to the college. COD has additionally celebrated its largest graduating class in history in each of the last six years, the college said.

COD has expanded its Coachella Valley footprint since Kinnamon’s tenure began more eight years ago with the opening and expansion of satellite campuses in Indio, Mecca and Desert Hot Springs.

A new campus is set to open in Palm Springs in the future, and the Indio campus is set to be expanded, officials said. Both projects are in pre- construction phases.

The survey can be found HERE.

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