Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra Stephen Parker is resigning after nine years in the top job.
Professor Parker made the announcement on Tuesday, but will remain in the position until July, in order to give the university time to find a replacement through an international headhunt.
Professor Parker has overseen the largest growth and reform of the University of Canberra during his two terms – just last month succeeding in securing a variation on the Territory Plan to allow the UC to proceed with a $1 billion campus redevelopment.
When Professor Parker first took up the Vice-Chancellorship in 2007, he inherited a $16 million deficit.
Professor Parker said his decision to leave was based on the fact he had achieved his broad vision for the university.
"Now it is up to someone new to come in and do it their way."
He categorically stated he had no other job lined up and was planning on relocating to Melbourne to spend time with his wife, three daughters and 18-month old grandson – who were all based there.
"I look forward to catching up on reading, perhaps doing some teaching, and I would be very happy to continue my research in access to justice."
Professor Parker recently advocated a HECS-like loans scheme to improve access to justice, which he would like to develop further.
"It is just time to move on, after nine years."
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr thanked Professor Parker for his "outstanding contribution as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra and his service to the Canberra community.'
'He will leave a significant legacy at the University of Canberra, and I wish Stephen and his family the very best in the future.'
This week, the UC placed 25th in Australian universities ranked in the QS World University Rankings – jumping into the 551-600 category with an improvement of 100 places.
Professor Parker said it was a wonderful result.
"We must remember UC has only been a university for 25 years and is one of the smallest in the country. We have never had any special funding for research, we have had to find it all ourselves and our rising research record is driving this improvement."
Since 2007, student numbers have increased under Professor Parker from 10,756 to over 17,100 this year. Academic staff numbers have risen from 339 to over 450 while total staff numbers, have risen from 869 to over 1000.
Overseas student numbers – a lucrative source of funding for UC – have risen from 2457 in 2007 to over 4000 this year.
To accommodate them, UC has built 1500 new bedrooms in student residences.
UC Chancellor Professor Tom Calma praised Professor Parker's guidance and leadership and thanked him for his relentless drive to revitalise the campus for the benefit of students, staff and the Canberra community.
"Stephen Parker has made an outstanding contribution not only through his role to grow and develop the University of Canberra but to Australian tertiary education in general.
"Although his departure will be a great loss for the University, his legacy has set solid foundations for the University to undertake its next stage of growth and competitiveness and for that we will always be grateful."
Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Ian Young said "I would like to congratulate Stephen on a remarkable set of achievements at UC. He has transformed the University in his time and I wish him all the best for the future."
In July, UC staff members were part of a national first when they received their inaugural dividend of part of the UC's surplus.
The Employee Bonus Scheme distributed a pool of money among employees after reached a surplus of $5.87 million after adjusting for one-off items.
A total pool of $1,034,531 was divvied up amongst 840 eligible permanent employees who received up to $1,133.97, based on their full-time equivalence.