Gov. Randall Kroszner will step down from the Federal Reserve Board on Jan. 21 and return to academic life, he wrote Monday in a letter to President Bush.

The departure will give President-elect Barack Obama another seat to fill on the central bank's board. He has already nominated Prof. Daniel Tarullo of Georgetown University Law Center for a board seat and will have the opportunity to fill two more vacancies.

The Senate Banking Committee will take up Prof. Tarullo's nomination Thursday.

The issues the Fed has faced "have been unprecedented," Mr. Kroszner wrote in his letter. "I am particularly pleased with our accomplishments in monetary policy, innovative liquidity facilities, banking and financial regulatory policy, and in strengthening consumer protection."

He joined the Fed on March 1, 2006, and chaired its committee on banking supervision and regulation. A successor has not been named.

President Bush nominated Mr. Kroszner for another 14-year term in 2007, but during a confirmation hearing that summer Senate Democrats questioned his commitment to consumer protection, and he was never confirmed for the second term.

Mr. Kroszner, who joined the Fed from the University of Chicago, will return to the university's business school to work in a newly created chaired professorship.

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