LOS ANGELES, Calif.–James Rosser, president of Cal State Los Angeles, will step down next summer after 33 years as the longest-serving leader of a four-year public university in the nation, the school announced Tuesday.

Among other achievements, Rosser, 72, is credited with partnering with K-12 and community colleges and helping to establish CSULA’s nationally known nursing program, and was instrumental in elevating the state of biotechnology and science, technology, engineering and math education and research, according to the university.

“Jim has been the voice and advocate for all students for the past three decades,” said California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

“In particular, his unwavering commitment to access and achievement of students of color and focus on helping them to realize their dream of a college degree is a hallmark of his tenure.”

Rosser’s “laser focus on students first, diversity, retention and graduation rates will endure as a remarkable legacy of his service to this university and to California,” Reed said.

Rosser–who will retire June 30– is also recognized for his commitment to academic excellence and the arts and sciences. He participated in landmark changes in state and national education policy, and has long maintained a dedication to cultural diversity, according to the university.

Rosser became the sixth president of CSULA, located east of downtown, in 1979.

His presidency is also the longest in the history of both CSULA and the 23-campus CSU system.