BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's top college board intends to choose the state's next higher education commissioner in April.

The Advocate reports that Robert Levy, chairman of the Board of Regents' six-member search committee, said Tuesday the panel hopes to have final interviews with contenders around April 4.

Joseph Rallo, in the commissioner's job since January 2015, plans to retire from the position that pays him $364,000 a year. Although his contract ends in December, Rallo has agreed to stay until June while the board searches for a new commissioner.

The Board of Regents has hired search firm AGB Consulting of Washington, D.C., to conduct a national search for job candidates.

The commissioner oversees policy governing Louisiana's 38 public colleges, their 217,000 students and the financing formula that divvies up state dollars to campuses.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com