Haverford College soon will launch a search for a new president to replace Kim Benston, who plans to step down in July 2019 after four years at the helm.

Benston, an English professor who has been on Haverford's faculty since 1984, plans to return to the classroom, the college said. He became president in 2015, replacing Daniel H. Weiss, who left to become president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Before becoming president, Benston had served as provost for three years.

"With a successful fundraising campaign in our wake and the completion of our ambitious strategic plan in view, Kim makes this decision in full confidence that Haverford is in a position of strength," said Rick White, chair of the college's board of managers. "He considers the timing ideal for us to begin looking to our next chapter."

Benston's initial presidential appointment at the highly selective liberal arts college with about 1,300 students on the Main Line was for two years. His term then was extended for two more years. Weiss had served two years and the previous president, Stephen G. Emerson, about four.

The college plans to establish a search committee before the end of the semester.