Professor Sir Pete Downes, the principal and vice-chancellor of Dundee University, is retiring.
Professor Sir Pete said it had been “a tremendous honour and a privilege” to lead the university for almost 10 years.
He will step down at the end of this year.
Professor Sir Pete has been in the post since 2009 and, under his leadership, has seen the university consistently rated among the best in the UK for student experience.
He said: “It has been a tremendous honour and a privilege to lead this great institution for what will have been almost ten years at the time I step down.
“Being principal has been the latest and final chapter of my career in the university, which began in 1989.”
He said he was proud to have received a Long Service Award, for over 25 years of service, but sees turning 65 later this year as “a natural time to consider the next stage of my life.”
However, Professor Sir Pete also stressed that he will have a full in-tray before he finally steps down at the end of the year.
“There are crucial issues to be addressed by the university throughout the coming year and I will be devoting my energies to those in the coming months,” he added.
“September will also see the opening of V&A Dundee, a project I have been closely involved with since the time I became principal. It is just one sign of the significant changes taking place in the city, many of them being driven or supported by the university.”
A spokesman said the process to appoint a new principal will now begin and will include an extensive consultation across the university.