WKU President Gary Ransdell announced at Friday's Board of Regents meeting in Elizabethtown that he is retiring effective June 30, 2017.
He said he wanted to give the school ample time to find a successor. He will have served as WKU President for 20 years by the time he leaves the post.
Ransdell said picking the right time to step aside has been something he and his wife, Julie, have been discussing for a while.
"We want to do this on our terms, and this has been an incredible 19 years so far, and will be an incredible 20 years," Ransdell told WKU Public radio. "We just felt like our health is good and I've seen so many people in this job retire and not have the best of circumstances with their health."
In an email to faculty and staff, Ransdell said he believes he has fulfilled the commitment he made in 1997 to transform the university.
"WKU is a dramatically different institution today than it was 20 years ago – financially, physically, intellectually and attitudinally. Serving my alma mater has been a dream come true," said Ransdell.