University of Great Falls President Eugene McAllister will step down from his post next week and spend a year as president emeritus before retiring in 2016.

The Great Falls Tribune reports McAllister has spent 12 years at the helm of the private, liberal arts Catholic university.

McAllister oversaw changes to the school from facilities remodeling projects to new campus housing and expanded academic programs.

He came to the university from Jacksonville University in Florida and previously was assistant secretary for economic and business affairs at the Department of State under then-President George H.W. Bush. He also worked under President Ronald Reagan.

In the next year, McAllister will work on major gifts and alumni relations.

Sister Lucille Dean will be interim president during the search for a new president.