After six months of searching, Black Hawk College has selected a new president. 

The college’s board of trustees met in a special session Friday on the Moline campus to approve the hiring of candidate Thomas B. Baynum pending agreement on a contract for the position. 

“This all happened very quickly,” said Evelyn Phillips, board chairwoman. “We just decided on him last Friday night.”

Phillips said the contract negotiations shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. 

Interim President Gene Gardner will step down in December, and Baynum is expected to begin his tenure at the college in early January. 

Currently, Baynum is president of Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas. 

He previously was the vice president of academic affairs at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas. He has a doctorate in higher education administration from Baylor University in Waco, Texas; a master of arts degree in education from Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.; and a bachelor of arts degree in English and French from Wayne State College.

“We went through a very professional process,” board member Mike Boland said during the meeting. “I think it was a long process. I think it has really brought us to an individual who is extremely talented, who, I think, will be great for the college as far as getting us out into the community, and I was just really impressed by Dr. Baynum.”