North Dakota State University Provost Bruce Rafert will step down at the end of this school year, NDSU announced Wednesday.
Rafert will return to teaching and research at the end of the 2013-14 school year, according to the announcement.
The provost is the school’s chief academic officer, overseeing several areas of the university including research, extension, information technology, and equity and diversity.
Rafert came to NDSU in July 2011 after serving as vice provost and dean of the graduate school at Clemson University in South Carolina.
His teaching and research background includes work with industry, state and federal agencies in space sciences including physics and astronomy.
In the statement, NDSU President Dean Bresciani said he was surprised but respected Rafert’s decision.
Bresciani said the provost has a “deeply felt desire to be a part of the growing scholarly portfolio” at NDSU.
The school will launch an open national search for his replacement, according to the announcement.