Norman C. Francis, the nation’s longest serving university president, plans to retire from that role at Xavier University of Louisiana next year.

Francis announced his decision, effective June 2015, during a campus-wide convocation Thursday morning.

“After nearly 47 years, I believe that the time has come to take the brightly burning torch turned over to me by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and pass it on to new leadership,” he said in a news release shortly after the formal announcement. “I do so with the passionate confidence and absolute certainty that Xavier is better prepared than ever to continue its educational and spiritual mission, and to build on its tradition of excellence.”

Check back with The Advocate for more details on this developing story.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp. For more coverage of the Louisiana Legislature, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog .