Dr. Joel Kinnamon has been working in community colleges for almost 25 years. He is a first generation college graduate. He attended Seminole Junior College in Oklahoma and then transferred to Oklahoma State University earning a B.S. in Agricultural Economics. In addition, he received an M.B.A. at Oklahoma City University.
After several years of working in the financial field, he knew he wanted to work in education. He returned to college and earned a Doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University. He was a professor of Business Management and held various administrative positions, including the Dean of Business, at Oklahoma City College. Kinnamon also worked as Provost at Tulsa Community College.
In 2002 Kinnamon moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he served as Vice Chancellor and subsequently Chancellor for Chabot-Las Positas Community College District.
In July 2012 Dr. Kinnamon assumed the role of Superintendent/President at College of the Desert. During his time at College of the Desert he has overseen tremendous growth, and witnessed the completion of numerous buildings on the Palm Desert campus, the expansion of the East Valley campus, and the opening of new campuses in Indio and Desert Hot Springs. As a result of the new facilities, increased course offerings and additional instructors, in May 2016 the College had the largest graduating class in its almost 60-year history. College of the Desert is currently ranked as the second fastest growing community college in the state of California.