LSU Graduate School Dean David Constant plans to step down to return to the engineering faculty, the university announced Monday.

The job has been largely decentralized since Constant took two years ago, with LSU now placing more of the responsibilities for graduate students with the individual academic colleges and departments.

“It (the job) may not hold the challenges it once had,” LSU Chancellor Michael Martin said of the graduate dean position.

“But he (Constant) stepped into a tricky role and has done a great job of keeping that office whole,” Martin said.

The plan is for Constant to stay in the job a little while longer until a new dean is hired or an interim person is selected, Martin said.

Constant informed the university of his decision Friday, according to Thomas Klei, LSU interim vice chancellor for research and economic development.

Klei credited Constant with streamlining the Graduate School and helping lead the decentralization process that began last fall.

“The bottom line is David has done a lot in the Graduate School,” Klei said.

The decentralization included having the graduate school dean report to Klei.

Martin said a full search for a new graduate school dean likely will be put on hold until some other searches are completed.

Jack Hamilton, the LSU executive vice chancellor and provost, is retiring at the end of the current academic school year and finding his replacement is the top priority, Martin said.

Then LSU can also wrap up a national search for a new vice chancellor of research and economic development, Martin said, before Constant’s permanent replacement is found.

About 16 percent of LSU’s enrollment is graduate students — more than 4,700 students — but LSU has long stated the goal is to grow that number to 20 percent.

Last year, Martin described the evolution of the job as “changing back a little” to a system closer to when the university used to have an all-encompassing vice chancellor of research and graduate studies.

After the jobs were separated, LSU made an external hire to bring in William Worger as the Graduate School dean, independent of the research and economic development office.

But after being on the job less than a year, Worger was quietly ousted under then-LSU Provost Astrid Merget because of personality clashes and other issues.

Constant, the former interim engineering dean, then took over the Graduate School.