George Reid came to the Illinois Board of Higher Education in December 2010. He'd been a top official at a similar agency in Maryland. Less than two years later, Reid says he's resigning for personal reasons.
A statement from the board says he wants to reduce his travel and spend more time with his family.
Reid's taking a new job with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
The board says Reid led discussion on reducing the amount of time it takes to earn a degree in Illinois, and helped implement a new law that increases state funding for universities that meet certain goals.
Reid had previously been president of Kentucky State University.
Harry Berman will be the interm director of the IBHE. The state agency reviews instruction and research programs at Illinois colleges and universities, and administers state and federal grants.
Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey contributed to this report