College of the Desert Superintendent and President Dr. Joel Kinnamon will retire next spring, it was announced Tuesday.

Kinnamon joined the college in 2012 and has worked within multiple community college systems for more than 30 years. In announcing his departure, Kinnamon cited his desire to focus on family concerns related to his parents. He is set to depart on March 31.

“I am proud of our collective efforts that have improved student success outcomes based on our national award-winning academic programs,” Kinnamon said. “I’m thankful for unwavering support from the community which has allowed us to expand while strengthening our financial stability even during a global pandemic. It gives me great satisfaction to hand the leadership of the college over to the next superintendent/president on such strong and stable footing.”

College officials said information about his transition and replacement will be released at a later date.

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

College of the Desert has expanded its Coachella Valley footprint since his tenure began more eight years ago with the opening and expansion of satellite campuses in Indio, Mecca and Desert Hot Springs, officials said.

The college’s newest campus in Palm Springs is additionally under construction, while construction is expected to begin soon on doubling the size of its Indio campus.

“Joel has been an incredible asset to our college and the community we serve. His broad experience, innovative ideas and visionary leadership have strengthened the college, increased its impact and expanded its reach,” Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Fred E. Jandt said in a statement. “There is no doubt the college is stronger and better prepared for the future because of his care.”

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