New Appointments at College Strengthen Student Success

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PALM DESERT, CA — College of the Desert recently announced several staffing changes designed to enhance student success outcomes and strengthen the College’s executive leadership team. Appointments include the naming of Dr. Annebelle Nery as Vice President of Instruction, Jeff Baker as Interim Vice President of Student Services, John Ramont as Vice President of Administrative Services, and Dr. Scott Adkins as the Director of Education Centers, West Valley. 

As Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Nery serves as the Chief Instructional Officer of the College, responsible for educational policy; academic programs and related services; for the accreditation processes. Advancement of student success and learning; instructional personnel decisions; budget development; enrollment management; fiscal accountability; program and curriculum development; educational centers (extended campuses); and the promotion and improvement of teaching and learning.

For the past 20 years, Dr. Nery has been an integral part of the California university and community college systems. Last month, she was named as the state’s Distinguished CSSO of the Year, by the California Community Colleges Chief Student Services Officers Association for her work in developing the College’s innovative EDGE program. Her leadership in the K-14 Consortium; her efforts to provide mentoring services on campus and statewide; and advancement in the College’s Student Equity and Achievements gaps.

She first joined the College as an adjunct professor in 2004. Since that time she has held various positions including being a full-time faculty member, Dean of Enrollment Services, Executive Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, and most recently Vice President of Student Success.

“I thoroughly enjoy working with my colleagues at the College of the Desert, and I deeply respect the students and communities of the Coachella Valley,” said Dr. Nery. “

Jeff Baker, who was previously the College’s Interim Vice President of Student Learning, will fill the Vice President of Student Services role on an interim basis, while the College recruits a permanent replacement. Baker has more than 20 years of community college leadership experience, previously holding positions at Ohlone College, Las Positas College, and Grossmont College.   

John Ramont, the College’s Vice President of Administrative Services, has been with the College since 2014 serving as both the Director of Fiscal Services and as the Interim Vice President of Administrative Services. 

As Vice President of Administrative Services, Ramont is responsible for overseeing fiscal services; operations and controls; budget development; purchasing; budgetary accountability; facilities services; maintenance and operations; information technology; construction and renovation projects; capital outlay and the bond program; and public safety services. As the Chief Financial Officer, he is also responsible for other business functions of the College’s operations, such as supporting organizations and contract services.

Ramont’s prior experience includes supervisory and financial oversight roles for the Coachella Valley Unified School District, the County of San Diego Community Services Group and the Department of the Navy. 

“My oldest daughter graduated from College of the Desert in 2017 and my son will graduate from the College later this spring. I started my educational journey at a community college, and I am a true believer in the system,” said Ramont. 

The College also named Dr. Scott Adkins as the Director of Education Centers, West Valley. Responsible for supervising staff and coordinating programs for the Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs campuses, Dr. Adkins has more than 35 years of educational experience, most of which has been spent in the Nashville area. He moved to the Coachella Valley in 2016 and has served as the College’s Interim Director of Education Centers and as an Educational Specialist and Interim Manager in the College’s Human Resources and Labor Relations Department.