ONE of the University of Wollongong's top officials has resigned to take up a similar job at a rival institution in Canberra.
Vice-Principal Chris Grange handed in his notice on Friday after being head-hunted by the Australian National University for a job he considers to be "the best university administrative position in the country".
While saddened to be leaving UOW after 25 years, Mr Grange said the offer from Australia's top-ranking university was too good to pass up.
"If I was to say no, I was basically saying 'I'm going to stay in Wollongong until I retire' and I'm a bit too young to mentally make that decision," he said.
"It's an exciting place and they've got a lot of great things that they want me to do."
Mr Grange first came to UOW in 1988, starting as the human resources manager when he was 29.
He then moved into finance and has been in his current vice-principal (administration) job for the past eight years.
He has played a key role in developing successful projects, such as the Innovation Campus, SMART Infrastructure Facility and the newly announced Sciences Teaching Facility.
Mr Grange has also been the public face of the university's now-defunct plans to build a creative arts facility and run a function centre from the manor house at Gleniffer Brae.
He said his proudest achievement as vice-principal was the good relationship the university's administrative team had with the wider campus community.
He has worked under three vice-chancellors, including recently appointed Professor Paul Wellings.
"He is a pleasure to work with and is making lots of changes to the university and that is exciting," Mr Grange said.
He said he would most miss UOW's "great people" and "running into old friends" while walking around campus.
Mr Grange will finish at UOW on April 5 and take up his new role later that month.