ST. PETER, Minn. — Gustavus Adolphus College President Jack Ohle has announced he will retire next year after prolonged criticism from faculty and students over his approach to the job.

Ohle announced he will retire June 30, 2014, when his contract is up. His retirement comes at the end of his sixth year as Gustavus president.

Ohle told The Free Press of Mankato ( ) his decision has to do with timing. He will be 67 at the end of his tenure and will have worked in higher education administration for 44 years.

"You reach a time in life when you wish you didn't have to retire," he said. "(But) you could only work so long."

Numerous faculty, students and alumni have been calling for Ohle's resignation, citing complaints about his leadership.

Ohle said the tension has been difficult.

"It's very difficult not to take it personally," he said. "In the end, you have to think beyond that."

Ohle announced his decision to retire to the Board of Trustees at its quarterly meeting last weekend. He began his service July 1, 2008.

Max Hailperin, Faculty Senate chair, said it has been clear in his dealings with Ohle that they both shared the same level of commitment in making decisions for the good of the college, but "it was no secret that he and I disagreed on how to achieve that shared goal."

Ohle and his wife will move back to Des Moines, Iowa, after retiring. He plans to do a great deal of volunteering, including perhaps with the Iowa Special Olympics, for which he served on the board for 10 years.

The Board of Trustees will soon begin a search to find the 17th president of the college.