The rector of the University of Westminster is to retire nine months earlier than expected at the end of 1995.
In a letter to staff, Terence Burlin, who has spent 33 years at the university, said: "I have considered this timing and the issues facing the university as objectively as one can when personally involved. My conclusion is that it would be in the best interest of the university to choose a slightly earlier date, and allow a new rector to be involved from the start with issues which will certainly run long beyond September 1996."
The university has been implementing a controversial estate strategy, with plans to establish a third campus at Harrow by 2000. Professor Burlin's letter argues that his retirement will coincide with the end of phase I of the strategy, leaving a new head free to see through phase II.
Jill Jones, negotiating secretary for lecturers' union Natfhe, said: "Professor Burlin's announcement coincides with a decision by Natfhe to run an audit of management among academic staff. We have received feedback from staff that they are not happy with senior management."
She said that staff would be asked what sort of person they would like as head, adding that Professor Burlin had pushed hard to improve the university's research profile and that this had been appreciated.