BOWLING GREEN (WTOL) - Randy Gardner has spent 33 years in the Ohio Legislature splitting time between the House and Senate.

He’s now taking a new job in governor-elect Mike DeWine’s cabinent;Chancellor of the Department of Higher Education.

“I think affordability is important and quality programming remains important. You want to make sure the degree you have is valuable and meaningful” he said.

Gardner will oversee the state’s public colleges and universities. He’ll work with state lawmakers to establish an education policy, a budget and student aid packages.

Gardner claimed that it shouldn’t be a problem because education is a non-partisan issue in Ohio.

“One other thing we’re lacking in the state is need based financial programs. We had some take a hit during the 2009 recession. Got some back but not most of it,” he explained.

He also added that he doesn’t plan to spend all of his time in Columbus. He’ll travel the state meeting with educators and students to get their input and learn what needs to be done to improve higher education.

“Knowing Mike DeWine and Jon Husted as well as I do I’m thrilled to be on that team," he said.

Gardner begins his new job Monday the same day DeWine is sworn in as governor.

Soon afterwards the Ohio Senate will select his replacement.