CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission says he plans to retire after his successor is hired.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Paul Hill has been serving as chancellor of the commission, which oversees four-year colleges, since 2012. Hill says he actually decided to retire in 2015, when he asked that his contract be extended only through June 30 of this year.

Hill says after his contract expires, he’ll be paid up to his successor’s start date.

Commission board Chairman Michael Farrell said Friday he expects to have the new leader working in December, saying it’s important they be available to the West Virginia Legislature. The annual regular legislative session begins in January.

Farrell says search firms will be interviewed to help with a national search for Hill’s replacement.

Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail,