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The longest-serving president in the State University of New York system said Thursday that he plans to retire next year – after taking a nine-month sabbatical.

SUNY Geneseo State President Christopher C. Dahl said he will retire June 30, 2014, after leading the college for 18 years.

Dahl, however, will essentially leave office in October, when he begins the nine-month sabbatical. He recommended that Provost Carol Long serve as interim president during his leave and throughout the search for the next president, according to a news release issued by the college Thursday.

Dahl became president of Geneseo in February 1996, after serving eight months as interim president, and before that, a year as the college's provost. During his tenure, the college has been consistently ranked by national publications as one of the best values in the country.