The Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees announced Friday that it will appoint Mike Munoz as the college’s next superintendent-president after meeting in closed session multiple times this week to arrive at a decision on the college’s next non-interim leader.

Board President Uduak-Joe Ntuk sent a message to the campus community Friday afternoon announcing that Munoz would start his term Jan. 1. The board met twice this week in closed session to discuss the appointment but did not announce a vote on either of the two finalists it was considering.

Munoz had served as superintendent-president in an interim role since March 2021. His contract is expected to be formally approved at the board of trustees’ final meeting of the year Wednesday, Dec. 15.

“He’s done a tremendous job for the past three years as Vice President of Student Services as well as the nine months as the Interim Superintendent-President,” Ntuk said in his announcement. “I know that he will hit the ground running, working to remove barriers to student success and lead our employees with his signature level of high energy and inclusion.”

Munoz has served as the interim superintendent-president since the board of trustees parted ways with Lou Anne Bynum, who had served as the interim replacement after the board of trustees voted to fire Superintendent-President Reagan Romali in March 2020.

Bynum left the interim post over a salary dispute.

Munoz has been at the school since 2018 when he joined as the vice president of student services.

LBCC announced two finalists for the job in late November with Munoz and Nohemy Ornelas, an associate superintendent/vice president of student services at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.

The decision to appoint Munoz came after over a year and a half of searching for a replacement for Romali, who was hired by the board of trustees in 2017.

The search for a non-interim successor has been marred by an ongoing investigation into dueling allegations of wrongdoing by Romali and the board, and a lawsuit that the board filed against one of its own members, Trustee Sunny Zia, as it sought to bar her from closed session meetings regarding the investigation.

While the investigation has been completed, the college has refused to release it to media outlets despite citing portions of it in court filings. Last month a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judges ruled against the district in its attempt to block Zia from meetings.

The terms of Munoz’s contract are expected to be disclosed during next Wednesday’s meeting. In a statement put out by the college Friday, Munoz said serving as the new superintendent-president is “an honor of a lifetime.”

“I’m so proud to be chosen for this role and I look forward to continuing to help our students achieve their educational goals,” Munoz said.

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.