The principal of Northampton College has announced his intention to retire at the end of the current academic year.
Len Closs, who has been in charge of the college since 2002, has said he feels the “time is right” to step down.
Mr Closs, aged 60, has presided over a period of major improvements at the college including a three-year £75 million rebuild of the Mounts and Booth Lane site.
He said: “I felt that for both personal and professional reasons it was the right time to make the move. I’ve really enjoyed the job and loved working in a college with lots of great people. I’m very lucky that I’ve had an uninterrupted career doing something I’ve really enjoyed.
“What I’m most proud of is improving the quality of education at the college over a number of years. We have steadily increased our success rates year after year.
“It has been an enormous privilege to be principal. It has not always been an easy job but overall I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
The college has begun a search for Mr Closs’s successor and the post of principal will be advertised externally in a number of national education publications tomorrow.
Roger Morris, chairman of the board of governors of the college, said Mr Closs’s retirement marked the “end of era” at the college.
He said: “Len Closs has led the college with distinction through a period of tremendous change. He has made a major contribution to the college and will be a very hard person to follow.
“We will be looking for someone with a proven track record of improvement.”
Mr Closs was appointed principal of Northampton College in February 2002, having previously been acting principal for a period of 10 months. Mr Closs has worked in further education for 35 years and was appointed vice-principal at Northampton College in 1996. In 2004, he led the process of merging Daventry Tertiary College and has led a £75 million development of the college culminating in an official opening ceremony in March 2012 attended by the Duke of York.