The rector of the University of Quebec at Rimouski has resigned amid a political row over the establishment of a rival institution.
Marc-Andre Dionne resigned in his second term following what he described as misplaced criticism of his institution by Quebec education minister Jean Garon.
Mr Garon affirmed his long-standing desire to see a university in his constituency of Levis, near the provincial capital of Quebec City, during elections last autumn.
In his resignation letter, Mr Dionne attacked the minister for proposing a new institution in the current financial climate without any consultation.
The idea has upset the university community. The Levis campus of the University of Quebec represents approximately 12 to 13 per cent of its students. Claude Hamel, its president, said: "Even more important is the fact that the university does a significant amount of recruiting for its main campus from the Levis region."
Quebec's regional representative for the Rimouski region, Danielle Doyer, hopes that a solution could be found that will "satisfy the needs of the different regions involved without threatening the University of Quebec". A broad coalition from her area has arisen to defend the institution.