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College of the Desert's President Announces his Retirement

Jaffa King

College of the Desert's President Announces his Retirement

CREATED Sep. 16, 2011

PALM DESERT - The Board of Trustees of Desert Community College District announced Friday that College of the Desert President Jerry Patton will retire from his position in June 2012, after the college's spring semester.

Patton began his tenure at COD in June 2004 as vice president of business services. He was selected as COD's sixth president, starting in that position on July 1, 2007.

"We are fortunate to have President Patton complete a lengthy and distinguished career in higher education as both a teacher and administrator here at College of the Desert. We are grateful that he saw the changing landscape of community college funding in California coming and helped us navigate the major challenges we have faced in recent years," said DCCD Board of Trustees Chairman Charles Hayden, Jr. "As a result we are in a strong position to continue forward with a well-managed organization from top to bottom and a solid plan in place for the future as we begin our search for a new president."

Patton says that though he will be retiring at the end of the current school year,  he is excited about this remaining time on campus at COD, where the fall semester has recently begun and many major facility development projects are under way through the Measure B bond program. The COD Foundation is planning the launch of an exciting new campaign that will tell the story of how COD graduates make a positive difference in the lives of desert residents every day.

"It has been an honor to serve the students, faculty and administration at College of the Desert and the Coachella Valley community at large during the seven years I've been here at the college," said Patton. "But my work at COD is not done yet as our board and management team, along with faculty and students will continue to re-invent our institution based on what is essentially a new normal scenario because of the greatly reduced state funding of community colleges."

At a future meeting the board will make decisions about the search and selection process.