VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) -- The state Board of Higher Education on Thursday approved a plan to hire a new university system chancellor within the next four months.

The timeline calls for a search committee to interview semifinalists in early February and finalists in early March.

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Board members say the proposal is aggressive but they want to have the new leader in place to work on a budget plan for the next legislative session.

The board approved a job description Thursday that does not require applicants to have a doctorate degree. Board members say consultants recommended keeping the initial requirements as broad as possible.

Chancellor William Goetz (getz) is retiring in August.