MONTPELIER (AP) - The chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges is stepping down in December.

On Thursday, the State Colleges board granted Tim Donovan's request to leave six months before his contract ends because of personal circumstances.

Board chairman Gary Moore says Donovan "has served the VSC very well and has been an excellent chancellor as well as college president during his long VSC career."

When Donovan retires, his career will include 38 years in the Vermont State Colleges. He served eight years as president of the Community College of Vermont and five years as chancellor of the state colleges, which include CCV, Castleton State College, Johnson State College, Lyndon State College and the Vermont Technical College.