Long Beach City College has a new temporary leader.
The Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously Saturday, March 14, to appoint Lou Anne Bynum, the college’s former executive vice president, as the district’s interim superintendent-president.
After 20 years with the college, Bynum retired in 2017 and currently serves on the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.
“I’m thrilled to be here,” Bynum said. “I’m just really honored to come back and really appreciative to have your confidence and trust to be able to come back and help the college transition during this time.”
The contract with Bynum will last six months, through Sept. 14, while the board conducts a search for a permanent replacement for former Superintendent-President Reagan Romali.
Bynum will receive a $20,000-per-month salary, along with 10 days of vacation. The contract notes the board may terminate her prior to the end of the six-month period or it may extend her contract beyond that point.
The board fired Romali earlier this month without cause, according to her attorney. The board, which voted on the termination in closed session, has yet to publicly acknowledge Romali’s firing — including on Saturday. Her contract required the board to give Romali 30 days’ notice before terminating her, so she is currently on paid administrative leave.
The move to fire her, though, came a week after Malauulu said she had directed two staff members to begin preparing for the superintendent’s departure, in the wake of revelations that Romali was applying to other colleges.
“There’s no denying she wants to leave,” Malauulu told the Press-Telegram then. “I’m sure she will land somewhere, so we need to be prepared.”
While speaking to the board after its vote, Bynum hinted that she differs from Romali, at least in that regard.
“This has always been my educational home,” Bynum said. “I’ve never wanted to work at any other college, and it’s such an excellent institution all the way around.”
Malauulu, for her part, was pleased to hear that.
“I love what you said, that you never wanted to be at another college,” she said. “That’s great.”