Joe Opatz, president of Normandale Community College, will retire at the end of his contract on Aug. 1, 2014.

"It has been a tremendous honor to serve this truly outstanding ­institution," Opatz said in a statement Friday.

"With the college well-positioned for future growth and success, I am ready to pursue new interests and personal opportunities."

Opatz, 60, is in his sixth year as president at Normandale, which had 14,595 part-time and full-time ­students enrolled in 2012-13. Normandale was the second-largest two-year college in the MnSCU system in 2011-12, the most recent ranking available, said Steven Geller, spokesman for the college.

"Normandale has had an impressive run under Joe Opatz's leadership," Steven Rosenstone, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities chancellor, said in a statement. "Joe has been a terrific leader who has dramatically transformed the ­quality of the education that Normandale provides."

Under Opatz's leadership, the campus saw a physical transformation that included a new major entrance to campus, housing partnerships with universities and a parking ramp.

Rosenstone said that he plans to visit the campus this fall to consult with faculty, staff and students before beginning a nationwide search for Opatz's successor.

Lydia Coutré