The dean of the School for Marine Science and Technology at UMass Dartmouth is stepping down at the end of the month.
Steven Lohrenz, an oceanographer, plans to return to teaching and research after serving as dean for nine years.
“I had reached a point where I was ready to have a change,” he said.
He said he and the university came to a mutual decision.
“We’re all dealing with the pandemic, and that’s introduced a whole new variable, but the administration is also looking at a way of integrating the marine sciences more across the whole institution,” he said.
University spokesman Ryan Merrill said the decision was mutual but does not stem from the desire to integrate marine sciences into other areas of the campus.
UMD suspended the search for a new dean for financial reasons and will reevaluate the position after the phased reopening from COVID-19, he said.
The university appointed an interim dean, Jean VanderGheynst, who already serves as dean of the College of Engineering.