A big 15 months of hard work lies ahead for departing University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings.
Prof Wellings announced on Tuesday that he would step down from his post in June 2021.
But he told the Mercury there was still some unfinished business to take care of before he can officially retire, after 10 years in the job.
"There is still a huge number of things to do here," Prof Wellings said.
"We need to finish the Health and Wellbeing project because that's in planning at the moment and we've got an expression of interest running to build new facilities in Liverpool.
"There are a couple of major projects running and we need to safely negotiate all of that while dealing with the budget pressures that follow on from things like the current Covit-19 virus outbreak.
"There's 15 months of a lot of work to do to either finalise projects or at least get them in a position that whoever succeeds me can then pick them up and run with them if that is what they wish to do.".
During his decade in charge, Prof Wellings has overseen the significant expansion of the university nationally and internationally.
Under his tenure, UOW has spent $870 million on its facilities, including the Liverpool campus, Molecular Horizons, iAccelerate, the new Arts and Social Sciences building and an 820 new student accommodation beds.
"The pivot to Liverpool is strategically really important for the university for long-term population growth because that's where a very large number of students will be," Prof Wellings said.
"As for offshore, the developments in Hong Kong and Malaysia to sit alongside Dubai give UOW a really distinctive platform."
Not too long ago Prof Wellings came under fire from academics and students after accepting a Ramsay Centre-funded degree in Western Civilisation without consulting staff.
But Prof Wellings was standing by his decision.
"There was demonstrable demand and now the program is full with students and it's up and running," he said.
"We could see that Wollongong had a very distinctive space to offer there and it sits alongside those other flagship degrees [Pre-med and Social Work] that we've been able to create in the last 10 years."
Prof Wellings also lauded the fact UOW has been consistently ranked in the top 20 Young Universities in the world and in the top 250 overall.
During his tenure the university has also enhanced its reputation as a research-led institution with an outstanding student experience.
"The quality of the graduates who leave Wollongong is second to none," he said.
"Wollongong is the only university in Australia to be shortlisted twice for a global excellence award in the teaching environments.
"The educational environment for our students is truly world class. That's something we should be very proud of."
For the most part Prof Wellings was also happy with the university's strategic plan but felt the university could have been faster in delivering some of the projects.
"Whether as a university we are still fast enough and flexible enough to meet the needs of contemporary society, I think is a big challenge for all universities," he said.
"We do a pretty good job but I suspect that state and federal politicians would like us to be even more fast and flexible for the future. That's an area we will have to focus on."
His retirement will mark the end of a 40 year academic and research career.