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DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa Board of Regents President Michael Gartner says he is stepping down from the board after the regents' meeting Tuesday.

Gartner, whose two-year presidential term expires in April, wrote an e-mail to the other eight board members Monday stating he will propose the board elect a new president, effective Jan. 1.

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“I think it is best to elect a new president before the Legislature gets into high gear and before the Board chooses a new Executive Director,” Gartner wrote.

Gartner's decision ends a tumultuous tenure that has been noted for a failed initial search for a University of Iowa president. Gartner said earlier this fall he planned not to seek a third presidential term in April but planned to remain on the board until his term as a regent ended in 2011.

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