The professor has been on sick leave since last November and is not expected to return to the university. Edward Acton, UEA’s pro vice-chancellor (academic), will serve as acting vice-chancellor until the end of the summer semester.
Professor Macmillan replaced David Eastwood as vice-chancellor in 2006. His previous job was at the University of Oxford, where he was pro vice-chancellor.
Before his sickness absence he finalised the university’s corporate plan for 2008-12, which, if successful, will see all schools breaking even and all faculties generating a 3 per cent surplus for capital investment.
The strategy also outlined plans for a student charter, laying down guidelines and objectives on what students should expect from the university and vice versa.
“I am really sorry to be leaving UEA early,” said Professor Macmillan. “However, I believe that the vision for the university contained in the corporate plan to which council and the university community have subscribed will enable UEA to flourish in an increasingly competitive sector and in difficult economic circumstances.
“There are exciting developments in all four faculties which I will not now see through to fruition but I have every confidence in the deans to deliver them. I wish UEA every success for the future.”
The chair of the university council, Stuart Holmes, said Professor Macmillan had given “excellent service” and left behind a strong management team and sound strategy.
“He set himself a demanding schedule and has never been reluctant to roll up his sleeves and progress major projects through his direct efforts.”
A University and College Union committee member said: “The term that the vice-chancellor was in place was a period in which relations greatly improved and UCU members are very positive about the future vision of the university laid out in the corporate plan.”