St. Petersburg College president Carl Kuttler, who in July said he planned to retire, announced Tuesday that his last day will be Dec. 31.
"This schedule, I believe, is best for SPC," Kuttler said in an e-mail to school employees. "I am confident that the leadership team in place will continue to guide the college well during this transition."
The college's board of trustees, which already is looking for a permanent replacement, will meet Dec. 1 to name an interim leader, Kuttler said.
Kuttler, the college's president since 1978, has been credited with leading the college through a period of exponential growth. Started as a two-year junior college, it now offers more than 20 baccalaureate degrees.
On Tuesday, trustees named a 13-member search committee to help identify Kuttler's permanent replacement.
The committee will screen applicants and create a pool of finalists for trustees to consider.
Applications for the position are due Nov. 30. School officials said they hope to have a successor chosen by spring.
Search committee members are: trustees Richard Johnston and Ken Burke; faculty members Earl Fratus, George M. Greenlee, and Tom Philippe; college employees Tonjua Williams and Theresa Kontodiakos; student Karishma Abdul; and community representatives Joseph G. Blanton, Scott Daniels, Bob Ulrich, Susan Latvala and Ken Welch.
Welch and Latvala are county commissioners. Ulrich is a former mayor of St. Petersburg. Daniels a Clearwater real estate agent and former president of Leadership Pinellas. Blanton is chairman of the St. Petersburg College Foundation.