Western Kentucky University President Gary A. Ransdell said he plans to retire in 2017.
Ransdell said in a statement released by the university Friday that serving his alma mater "has been a dream come true."
He said over the next 17 months he'll work to ensure that the university is in good position for new leadership.
Board of Regents chairman Freddie Higdon said a committee will be appointed to conduct a national search for Ransdell's replacement this spring.
Ransdell was named Western Kentucky's ninth president in September 1997.