A longtime Illinois State Board of Education administrator was named Wednesday as interim state schools superintendent and will head the agency from Dec. 1 until a permanent superintendent is hired next year.

Christopher Koch was unanimously appointed by the nine-member board to replace Randy Dunn, who will leave his post later this year to become president of Murray State University, a 10,300-student school in western Kentucky.

Koch, 44, said he has no plans to pursue the position permanently and will return to his job as assistant superintendent for special education when a new superintendent is named.

“It’s an honor to be asked and I look forward to working with a very effective board,” Koch said.

Dunn and board chairman Jesse Ruiz said Koch’s years with the state board will ensure a smooth transition until a permanent superintendent is named.

“There’s not going to be that kind of learning curve you get if you don’t know the agency and don’t know the field that we’re serving ... I look for it to be just seamless, actually,” Dunn said.

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