The dean of the University of Maine School of Law is giving up those duties next year, but plans to remain on staff.

Peter Pitegoff, who has served as dean since 2005, said a change in leadership is healthy and that the time is right. He described the changes, effective in June 2015, as a “transition” — not a “farewell.”

Law school officials say there’s plenty of lead time to conduct a national search for a successor.

Pitegoff says he looks forward to returning to the classroom and engaging in research, policy work and public service. When he steps down, he will have served 10 years as dean.