BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana is searching for its next higher education commissioner.

Joseph Rallo, in the position since January 2015, plans to retire in about nine months.

The Board of Regents announced Wednesday that Rallo, whose contract ends in December, has agreed to stay until June while the board searches for a new commissioner. The board intends to hire a national firm to seek candidates for the job, which pays Rallo $364,000 a year.

The commissioner oversees policy governing Louisiana’s four-year and two-year public colleges and the financing formula that divvies up state dollars to campuses.

A retired Air Force colonel, Rallo has been in the position as higher education struggled with repeated budget cuts. Before moving to Louisiana, Rallo was the vice chancellor of academic affairs at the Texas Tech University System.

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