The man at the helm of the University of Phoenix is leaving the position.

Bill Pepicello announced his plans to retire Wednesday after seven years as the school's president.

Pepicello told The Arizona Republic any "turbulent waters" the school went through only made the university stronger.

In February, the Higher Learning Commission had considered denying accreditation to the University of Phoenix. Instead, the school was placed on "notice" status because of concerns about its faculty scholarship and research for doctoral programs.

Phoenix-based Apollo Group, the school's parent company, says it is open to a having a new president from the academic or business world.

Pepicello says he will remain on the job while administrators search for a replacement.