Barry Mills, the interim chancellor at UMass-Boston, plans to step down at the end of this academic year.
In a letter, Mills said the campus was making progress on numerous major issues --its budget, construction projects, and the launch of the first dorms on campus - and cited the "inherent advantages" of having a permanent chancellor in place.
The timing of the announcement, Mills wrote, was driven by a need to give UMass President Marty Meehan and the UMass Board of Trustees time to launch a search in order to have a chancellor in place for the 2018-2019 academic year.
"Were I at a different stage in my career and able to make a long-term commitment to this heroic institution, I would eagerly seek the permanent position, such is my admiration and affection for this university," Mills wrote.
UMass Boston recently faced a $30 million deficit, a gap that Mills says is down to $18 million and will likely be no larger than $5 million by the end of the fiscal year, according to Mills, who said he "can project that UMass Boston's budget will be balanced in subsequent years."
Mills said he would remain on the job if his successor has not been selected when the academic year ends.
Fomer UMass-Boston Chancellor Keith Motley stepped down this summer, with plans to take a year's sabbatical and then return to campus to teach. Motley had served as chancellor for a decade.
UMass officials in March announced they had hired Mills, the former Bowdoin College president, as deputy chancellor and chief operating officer, in part to work on long-term strategies. At the time, UMass President Marty Meehan called Mills "one of the nation's preeminent higher education leaders."