NANYANG Technological University (NTU) president Su Guaning, 60, will step down in June next year, after being at the helm for eight years.

He will be succeeded by the university's provost, Professor Bertil Andersson, 61. The new provost will be Professor Freddy Boey, 54, who currently heads the school of materials science and engineering.

Dr Su, who is credited with overseeing NTU's smooth transition to an autonomous university, had previously indicated his intention to step down after his term ends on June 30. Formally announcing his decision yesterday, the respected scholar said it was time to pass on the baton in the 'marathon relay' of building a world-class university.

'It will be difficult for me to put down a burden that has also been a joy and a source of energy over the last eight years. But renewal is a crucial stage in the life cycle of universities,' he said in a statement.

Dr Su, a President's Scholar and former chief of the Defence Science and Technology Agency, will stay on as a professor in the school of electrical and electronic engineering. He is leaving behind an important legacy, which included expanding the university's curriculum beyond engineering and science, and strengthening its ties with China.

Under his charge, NTU set up the school of humanities and social sciences, the school of physical and mathematical sciences, and the school of art, design and media. A fourth new school was later set up - the school of chemical and biomedical engineering - expanding NTU's engineering offerings before the establishment of a new medical school.

NTU president to step down