University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced yesterday to the Board of Regents that he’s retiring in December after five years of service in leading the state’s 29 public colleges and universities.

“I have met with Board … and have told them it’s time for this guy to throw in the hand. My hope is that our legacy, the work we have done together not only on the Board of Regents but so many sitting around the room today, that we can proudly say that this is a better system than we accepted. I walk away from this job … knowing that one of the greatest assets that this state has to offer is its university system,” he said.

Huckaby, a former Republican state lawmaker, has presided over several successful college mergers and has opposed controversial legislative “campus carry” efforts to allow 21-year-old students to possess firearms..

A temporary replacement after December will be Steve Wrigley, currently the University System’s executive vice chancellor for administration and a former aide to former Gov. Zell Miller.

The Regents have not yet named a search committee for a new chancellor.

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