The boss at the Lancaster-based University of Cumbria is quitting.
Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Strike is retiring at the end of the next academic year.
He only initially agreed to hold the reins for five years and over the past four has steered the new university through a raft of developments and changes, during which there has been strong financial performance.
He has recently overseen the development of an updated corporate strategy which has now been agreed by the University Board.
Prof Strike said he is fully committed to working with the board and senior team to oversee its implementation in 2015-16.
He said: “ It has been an immense privilege and hugely rewarding to be able to lead the university for the past four years, and I expect the next year to be no less interesting.
“However, when I took on the role, I made clear my intention to serve for a five year period and it is therefore my intention to retire at the end of July next year.”
He added: “I feel that with the support and unstinting hard work of our staff, students, board directors and the wider community, we have been able to make real progress.
“The university is in a strong position to make further strides, having developed significantly in terms of league-table position, reputation, student satisfaction and research.”
Chairman of the University Board Euan Cartwright said: “Peter has made an exceptional contribution to the development of our university in the four years he has been with us, working tirelessly to achieve substantial progress.”
Mr Cartwright said a successor is expected to be appointed early in the new year after a national recruitment drive.