UNIVERSITY of New England chancellor John Watkins sensationally stepped down from the role on Friday.
Mr Watkins has been on the university council for 18 months and last year stepped up as chancellor after former Northern Tablelands MP Richard Torbay suddenly vacated the position.
But now the former deputy premier of NSW has chosen to step down, saying his other responsibilities had become too much.
"I've tried to do my best for the last 18 months," he said.
"I think the right thing for the university is for me to move on."