DeSales University announced the retirement of the Very Rev. Bernard F. O'Connor, OSFS.

O'Connor has served as the university's third president since July 1, 1999.O'Connor is currently the longest-serving president of a college or university in the Lehigh Valley, according to the DeSales.

He first joined the school as an instructor in 1974.

The school said that under O'Connor, DeSales provided students with expanded course offerings, including new undergraduate majors in homeland security, health communication, healthcare administration, and supply chain management.

DeSales says that O'Connor will step down after the May 20, 2017 commencement ceremony.

The school says it has search committee that will find the next president, who must be a priest from the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales order.