The head of the state's higher education board announced Monday he will retire effective Feb. 1, 2012.
Ohio Chancellor Jim Petro, who serves as head of the Ohio Board of Regents, the state's top body for considering higher education issues, will leave the post after less than two years on the job. The regents oversee the University System of Ohio, which includes 14 public universities — among them Kent State University — and 23 community colleges.
Petro announced his retirement plans in a press release issued Monday. He was appointed in March 2011 by Gov. John Kasich to fill out the remainder of a 5-year term vacated by former chancellor Eric Fingerhut.
"I am extremely honored that Gov. Kasich asked me to serve as chancellor of Ohio’s university system,” Chancellor Petro said. “Together we set an aggressive course for Ohioans to achieve a higher level of degrees and credentials of value that will help improve our state’s overall economic success."
The chancellor serves as a member of the governor's administrative cabinet.
Petro spent nearly three decades in public office holding such positions as state auditor, state attorney general, Cuyahoga County commissioner and a local state representative.
The release announcing Petro's retirement makes no mention of a search for his replacement.
Kim Norris, deputy chancellor and director of communications for the Ohio Board of Regents, said in an email there were no details yet on who might be announced as Petro's replacement and when that might take place.