CHICAGO (CBS) — The president of DePaul University, A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., will step down at the end of the next academic year on June of 2022.

According to the university, after five years as DePaul’s president, Esteban is taking a one-year sabbatical “and plans to visit members of the Vincentian family around the world.”

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“After much prayer and reflection, I have discerned that this is the time for me to shift my focus and energy to my personal and familial journey, and away from our shared institutional endeavors,” Esteban said in a personal message shared with the university community. “It has been an honor to work with our outstanding faculty, dedicated staff, and our many alumni and friends to bring our Catholic, Vincentian and urban mission to life every day.”

Esteban became DePaul’s president on July 1, 2017 as the school’s first lay leader.

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“Serving as the first lay leader of this institution, driven by its mission, has been among the most satisfying endeavors of my career in higher education,” Esteban said.

According to DePaul, among some of Esteban’s accomplishments have been transformational additions to DePaul’s academic programs. “Graduate and undergraduate programs for students interested in health and science related careers significantly expanded. DePaul will welcome its first cohort of students to a new speech-language pathology program this upcoming fall and open a speech-language pathology clinic that will serve the Chicago community.”

“The board is grateful for Dr. Esteban’s many contributions to DePaul and looks forward to celebrating his accomplishments during this next academic year,” said Gerald A. Beeson, chair of the DePaul University Board of Trustees. “The board also has deep appreciation for Dr. Esteban’s careful consideration of his transition in order to minimize the disruption to the university.”

Over the next year, the school’s board of trustees will begin a search for Esteban’s replacement

“I expect the board will formally commence the search for DePaul’s next president this fall,” Beeson said. “We will conduct a comprehensive national search to find the best candidate to lead the university in meeting the challenges of the future.”

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Click here to read Esteban’s personal message to the DePaul community​​

CBS 2 Chicago Staff