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Presidential search narrowed down to two candidates

Quinn Conklin, Web Editor

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SRJC is nearing the end of its search for a new president, again. The hiring committee has narrowed the field to two candidates, Dr. Frank Chong and Dr. Joel Kinnamon, who will be presented to the school in two forums next week.
Chong will address the school on Oct. 31, taking questions from the students, staff and faculty in a forum held at 3:15 p.m. in Newman Auditorium and telecast to the Mahoney Library Reading Room.
Chong has a doctorate in educational administration, leadership and technology from Dolwing college in Oakdale, New York and currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges at the United States Department of Education, a position he has held since July 2010. Before that he served as the president of Laney College in Oakland.
Kinnamon will be presented to the school at 3:15 p.m. on Nov. 2 at Newman Auditorium. He has been both chancellor and vice chancellor of Chabot College in the East Bay. He also served as a professor of management and department chair at Oklahoma City College.

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One Response to “Presidential search narrowed down to two candidates”

  1. Mooncheese on November 4th, 2011 10:07 pm

    Dear SRJC Faculty, Staff, Students, Board of Trustees and Presidential Hiring Committee,

    If you want to really know what Joel Kinnamon is like, you should talk to the faculty and staff at the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District (CLPCCD) where he is currently the chancellor. For such a high-paying and high-profile position that will affect the future of SRJC, you owe it to yourselves to learn more about what you’re getting yourselves into.

    In the article at

    Kinnamon says he’s only applied to SRJC because he’s “drawn by the school’s tradition, excellence and community involvement.” That is such a cliche you might as well ignore it. All presidents and chancellors use a similar line. SRJC needs to see through the bullshit and focus on results and what prospective presidential candidates will actually deliver.

    Kinnamon also says he misses working in close proximity to the college community because at CLPCCD he had to work out of a district office. More bullshit! As the chancellor of CLPCCD, he could do whatever he wants, including move his office to the colleges. No one forced him to be located in a separate building called “the district office” which several faculty and staff felt was unnecessary and a complete waste of money.

    In the same article, Kinnamon says he’s been able to raise millions of dollars in additional revenue while protecting faculty raises and perks in tough times. Of course, what he forgot (or didn’t want) to mention was that he also gave himself a huge raise around the same time he laid off a bunch of faculty and staff. According to this article

    Kinnamon’s compensation at CLPCCD was increased by $34K bringing his total annual compensation to $317K.This was done at a time of increasing budget cuts, cancelled classes, and layoffs. The huge compensation gap between chancellor and all other employees, including deans, is outrageous! Especially considering that most of the other employees do most of the “real” work like teaching and managing the day-to-day operations. The huge compensation chancellors get is no different than the undeserved bonuses Wall Street CEOs get, although at a much different scale.

    According to the article at

    Kinnamon avoided firm statements about what he’d do as SRJC president. That’s because he probably hasn’t the foggiest idea of what to do that will actually make a difference in these trying economic times. Like some other college presidents, he’d probably take a year to get settled in, then maintain the status-quo since that’s the safest and easiest thing to do while he pockets a huge income and prepares for an early and high-paying retirement. After a few years, people will start to realize that he’s not worth a fraction of what he’s making and get fed up with his lack of communication and unwillingness to make important decisions through shared governance. At that point, rumors will start to spread for a vote of no confidence. He’d start feeling the pressure and realize he’s no longer wanted and eventually leave either voluntarily or by non-renewal of his contract. And then those colleges would make the same mistake of hiring a lame duck president all over again. That’s probably what happened at Chabot College when Kinnamon brags about having hired the first Latina female president who, by the way, said she’s “retiring” at the end of the year which probably means she was forced to leave because she’s not even that old.

    In the same article, Kinnamon “described himself as a leader who listens, makes himself available, and carefully considers opposing points of view to a point.” Even more bullshit! Just last March he suddenly laid off 30 faculty and staff at CLPCCD giving them and their union only a 2 day notice. The layoff announcement was sent to all employees on Saturday, March 5, 2011 near midnight of all times, when no one checks their work email, just before the March 8 board meeting. Despite the huge backlash by faculty, staff and students, Kinnamon ignored everyone. Emails were flying back and forth demanding the administration explain the reasoning behind the questionable layoffs, some of which seemed more personal than budget-related. But, as expected, Kinnamon and his administration ignored the faculty and staff. He ignored the community he was hired to serve. And that is probably one of the reasons why he’s leaving CLPCCD. He could no longer be trusted. He didn’t communicate at a time when everyone was begging and then demanding for answers. There was no transparency or shared governance and people were fed up. Maybe he thought he could rule with an iron fist like the dictators of the middle east, but that doesn’t work in America, and it’s no longer working everywhere else.

    Before you go and just believe whatever Kinnamon hopes you’ll believe from the few statements he’s made, consider this one last incident. In 2010, Chabot College launched a new website which was such an improvement over the previous one, it was an instant hit among faculty, staff and students. Two days later, Kinnamon threatened to shut down the entire college website unless it was reverted back to the previous design. Why? Because his insecure and incompetent control-freak CTO complained about not knowing about it even though the college’s had autonomy over their own websites. Had the site not been reverted, Kinnamon would have blocked the entire student population from being able to access important information they depend on. After the site had been reverted, faculty and staff demanded an explanation, but yet again, Kinnamon ignored them.

    As someone with first-hand experience serving my community under the Kinnamon regime, I hope these facts will help SRJC make the right decision in their search for a new president. If you would like to verify any of these statements, you can simply do so by contacting the faculty, staff and unions of CLPCCD at

    If they’re afraid to tell you much, they’re probably still living in fear of suspiciously getting laid off for speaking out against the administration.

    When Kinnamon gave his first convocation speech, I thought he had potential. But just a few years later, he proved to be a huge and costly disappointment.


    A public education-educated concerned tax-payer who is losing faith in the public education system due to executive greed and wasteful spending.


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Presidential search narrowed down to two candidates