Will begin duties before the fall semeseter

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Coastal Bend College Board of Trustees announced their new president-elect from a list of four finalists at a meeting Friday.

Dr. Thomas Baynum was announced as the new president of the college about 2:30 p.m. Friday. He will replace Dr. John Brockman, who retires in August.

"We found Dr. Baynum highly intellectual and very enthusiastic," Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Grady "Sam" Hogue said. "We are very excited to have him join the college."

Baynum was named after a national search that produced 27 applicants.

CBC used ERCS, a McKinney, Texas consulting firm. The field was narrowed to 14, and on May 3, the board of trustees voted and made public a list of six finalists.

Each candidate spent a full day at the college over a two-week period and participated in a question-and-answer session. Faculty, staff and general public were encouraged to express their opinions to consultants who tabulated the results and conveyed them to the board. On Thursday, 21 days after publicly naming the finalists, the board selected Baynum to be the next president.

Baynum, a native of Wilmington, Del., has served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Palo Alto College in San Antonio since 2002. He is also an English professor.

Previously, he was Dean of Arts and Sciences at Richland Community College in Decatur, Ill. He holds a bachelors degree in English and French and a masters degree in English from Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb. His doctorate degree from Baylor University in Waco is in higher education administration.

"If you looked at all of the finalists each exhibited a high level of expertise," Hogue said. Of the six finalists - Jo-Carol Fabianke, Baynum, James Martin, Robert Musgrove and Phillip Shirley - four were college vice presidents, including Baynum, and two were presidents.

Hogue said all of the candidates were strong and well-equipped to do the job. They came to CBC with solid references, he said.

Of the six, Baynum was the one who had the most significant impact on the board and the staff, Hogue said.

Baynum will replace Dr. Brockman before the fall semester begins.