SRJC president search down to two

  • Frank Chong, left, and Joel Kinnamon.

Santa Rosa Junior College may be near to hiring its next president.

The school has identified two finalists for the position: Frank Chong, deputy assistant secretary for community colleges at the U.S. Department of Education, and Joel Kinnamon, chancellor of Chabot-Las Positas Community College in Pleasanton.

Both men are to be on campus next week to interview with SRJC's Board of Trustees and to attend public forums at Newman Auditorium on SRJC's main campus.

Chong's forum is from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Kinnanon's is the same time on Wednesday.

The board will convene Nov. 3 to hear public comment on the candidates before retreating behind closed doors to discuss the matter. A final choice may occur Thursday, though an announcement will be weeks away, said Rick Call, chairman of the board trustees.

“You don't want to announce a name then go into contract negotiations and you can't come to any kind of agreement,” Call said. “It'll be maybe another two weeks before we would announce who we chose.”

It's possible neither man will come out on top. Last spring, the board rejected three finalists after holding similar interviews and forums.

But Call said he suspects this time will be different.

“We have two very strong candidates on paper,” Call said. “From what I see so far, I feel very good about the process."

During the second search, the school hired Professional Personnel Leasing Inc., a head-hunting firm, for $24,000 plus up to $2,000 in expenses to bring in a wider selection of candidates.

SRJC needs to replace Robert Agrella, 68, who is retiring after two decades at the helm. He planned to retire last summer but agreed to stay after the board failed to find a successor.

-- Sam Scott, The Press Democrat

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