After nine years with the University of Texas System, Kenneth Shine, the executive vice chancellor for health affairs, announced on Monday that he intends to retire in early 2013.

Shine, a highly regarded cardiologist and physiologist, will stay in his current post until a replacement is found. According to a press release issued by the system, a national search will begin immediately.

"One of the greatest privileges I have had as chancellor is working with Ken Shine," UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said in a statement. "For the past decade, his mission has been: How do we make health care more accessible and affordable for Texans, and how do we better educate doctors, nurses and health professionals?"

An instrumental player in the system's efforts to establish new medical schools in Austin and South Texas, Shine has indicated a desire to teach and provide assistance at the institution in Austin once it is up and running.

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Shine described the last near-decade as "a joy" and "very rewarding."

During his tenure, Shine led many hallmark initiatives at the system, including six presidential searches and the Transformation in Medical Education program, which is designed to shorten the time it takes students to obtain a medical degree. He served as interim chancellor from April 2008 to January 2009, the gap between former Chancellor Mark Yudof's departure and Cigarroa's arrival.

"Dr. Shine has been a highly respected leader of the UT System health institutions and he has firmly established a national reputation for innovation and leadership," said Gene Powell, the chairman of the system's board of regents.

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