Edward Guiliano, president of New York Institute of Technology, said Thursday he plans to step down from his post at the 12,000-student global university after a new leader is found.

“We all see this as a natural transition,” Guiliano said in an interview with Newsday. “I have given it my all and have been privileged to ride the tide of higher education on Long Island all these years.”

Guiliano, 66, a native of Dix Hills, is serving his 17th year as president of NYIT. Although his contract expired Aug. 31, he will continue in the position until after the university finds his successor.

NYIT — which has main campuses in Old Westbury and Manhattan — will launch an international search. The school has hired the Illinois-based executive search firm Witt/Kieffer.

“Dr. Guiliano is an example of a success story in academia,” said Kevin Silva, chairman of NYIT’s board of trustees. “He started humbly as an English professor and rose through the institution itself and led it as president successfully. Over that time, he’s turned it into a powerful global institution.”

Silva said the trustees are seeking a new president who can continue to build on the global brand and create opportunities for grant-making and fundraising.

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Guiliano joined NYIT’s faculty in 1974 and was the youngest person at the school to be promoted to full professor. He was appointed its third president in June 2000 after having served as vice president of academic affairs and as provost.

During his tenure, NYIT experienced significant enrollment growth, expanding its domestic course offerings and international footprint.

About 18 percent of the current student body is from outside of the United States, and the school has campuses in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Nanjing and Beijing, China, and Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. NYIT has a total of about 3,000 employees, Guiliano said.

This year, the university opened its new College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. The curriculum mirrors that of the osteopathic medical school on the Old Westbury campus.

The university also has plans to build its first student housing project, a 700-bed facility that would allow for better student recruiting and retention, officials said. It is awaiting approval by the Village of Brookville.

“Edward has been one of the leading university presidents in this region, and has had a tremendous impact on NYIT in helping it become a global institution. I am particularly proud because he happens to be a Stony Brook University alum as well,” Stony Brook University president Samuel L. Stanley said.

After leaving the president’s office, Guiliano said he plans to take a sabbatical before returning to the NYIT faculty to teach. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a doctorate from Stony Brook University.

Guiliano is a scholar of Victorian literature and is the author of eight books and more than 150 articles. He is the founding member and former president of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering study of the life and works of the author of the classic 1865 novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

He currently lives in Manhattan with his wife, Mireille Guiliano, author of “French Women Don’t Get Fat” and other books about French lifestyle.