University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has stated that he is stepping down in July of next year.

In a news release this morning he said:

"Today I write to inform you of my decision to step down as President on July 1, 2019," it began. "My tenure already exceeds the national average. This is an incredibly demanding job, essentially seven days a week, evenings and nights included, and as proud and confident of my contributions and ability as I am, I also know that the University will benefit from a fresh perspective." "Quite simply, it is time."

A news conference has been scheduled for 2 pm this afternoon.

He previously served as the Provost and Senior Vice President at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. Before that, he was the dean of the University of Delaware's School of Engineering.

His immediate plans are to continue as a President Emeritus for a year to continue work on the multi-billion dollar Driven Campaign.  His plans after that are to take a sabbatical and then take on a faculty position in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the school.

Governor Dayton issued the following statement. "President Kaler has provided dedicated and principled leadership to the University of Minnesota,"  "All of us owe him a debt of gratitude for his very important contributions to the betterment of our University and our State."

Getty Images Eric Kaler U of M President