NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Southern Connecticut State University President Joe Bertolino will leave the university on July 1 after seven years at the school’s helm, he announced Friday.

Bertolino is leaving to become the president of Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey.

“While the decision to leave Southern has been difficult to make, in particular as we continue to transition through these post-pandemic years, it is one that Bil and I believe is best for our family,” he said in a written statement. “We will return to the place where I grew up, and where my father and many of our shared loved ones still reside. Stockton is also my mother’s alma mater. Mom, like many of our graduates here at Southern, was a non-traditional student — an RN who received her BSN in 1977. Though she is no longer here with us, it brings me and my family great joy to be able to honor her memory in this special way.”

He was the 12th president of SCSU.

As president, he led a branding campaign for the university, implemented an enrollment management plan, created the SCSU Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, partnered with community colleges to make transferring easier and and created a magnet K-4 elementary school on campus, among other efforts.

“I am particularly proud of the productive relationships that we have built with our neighbors in New Haven and beyond, the growing recognition of our distinctive excellence in a range of academic disciplines, and how we have extended a commitment to social justice and anti-racism throughout our institution, providing an example for our students to make positive change when they enter society,” Bertolino said in the written announcement.

An interim president has not yet been named.