MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler says he will step down next year.

Kaler said Friday he will step down as president on July 1, 2019, at the end of his eighth year as university president.

In a statement, Kaler said his tenure ``already exceeds the national average.'' He says he knows the university ``will benefit from a fresh perspective,'' and that ``Quite simply, it is time.''

After he steps down, Kaler says he plans to work as president emeritus for one year to continue the momentum of the university's $4 billion Driven campaign.

Kaler says he then plans a sabbatical before assuming a faculty position in the university's Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.