COD'S New Man on Campus has Obstacles Ahead
PALM DESERT- College of the Desert's new president started less than a week ago, but he inherits a school embattled in controversy. Video by kmir6.comvideo
PALM DESERT- In his first week as College of the Desert president, Joel Kinnamon is already beaming about the school.
"COD has always been on my short list... I'm so excited to be back on campus where I can be with the faculty, staff and especially sit down and talk to students," said Kinnamon.
But this former community college chancellor has a few battles ahead of him. He inherits a football program under fire for allegations it illegally recruited players and he faces a grand jury investigation questioning the standards of the college's public safety academy.
"I look forward for us to sit down and talk this out and look at those findings and we'll be moving forward and providing a response to the grand jury," he said.
The college has until September 23 to respond. Kinnamon says he's working with COD's board to investigate the football program, but he won't say how he'll respond if the investigation turns out negative for the school.
"I want to maintain the integrity of the process," he said.
But Kinnamon says as the college investigates football recruiting, he wants the community to know what's being done.
"My goal is to also make sure we do it in a transparent way so that the community is confident and the students who are coming to us are confident that our programs are at rigor and that we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards, and so that's going to be my commitment," said Kinnamon.
He's asked the Board of Trustees to take some time to publicly address the investigation in its upcoming meeting Thursday.
-Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.