Search begins for Louisiana higher education commissioner, with selection planned for October

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — The Board of Regents has started a national search to find Louisiana's next higher education commissioner, with a goal to hire a new leader by October.

The job, which is the state's chief policy leader for public colleges, has been vacant since March, when Jim Purcell left the position he had held since February 2011.

Regents announced Tuesday that an eight-member search committee of board members has been named to lead the search. The board has hired Washington-based search firm AGB Search to find, sift through and recommend possible candidates.

The Board of Regents plans to hold a special meeting on Oct. 9 to choose the commissioner.

Purcell had a $275,000-a-year contract, but Regents leaders have suggested they'll offer a higher salary to the next commissioner.

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