The principal of Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln will retire next year, after nine years in the job.
Professor Muriel Robinson will step down in April 2013 and the Board of Governors has started looking for a suitable replacement.
Professor Robinson has seen changes to the number of students attending and course options at the university, including the institution gaining authority to award its own degrees.
Professor Robinson said: “I am looking forward to my retirement but there is a great deal of work still to be done in the coming year.
“I will be very sad to leave because BG is a unique institution in a unique city and I have enjoyed a stimulating and extremely rewarding nine years as principal.
“With the current uncertainty in the higher education sector it will be gratifying for me to leave BG in such good shape: our applications from students wishing to start in September are up 18% on last year and I can vouch for the fact that BG is a terrific place both to work and to study.”
Chair of the Governors at BG, Max Manin, said: “Muriel has done and continues to do a fantastic job in leading BG through changing times.
“Her outstanding contribution to the university college, and to the higher education sector more widely, will be greatly missed.
“For now it’s business as usual as Muriel continues to work with the senior leadership team and the wider staff on the business of the university college.
“We will be seeking someone with similarly exceptional skills and expertise who can continue to lead our mission as an independent institution with a distinctively Anglican character.”