The decision comes a week after the campus president's Catholic jokes and jabs at other universities became public.
OSU President E. Gordon Gee will retire, effective July 1.
Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph A. Alutto will be named interim president. He previously served as interim president in 2007.
“I recently returned from a vacation with my family, during which time I had a chance to consider the university’s phenomenal achievements and the road that lies ahead for it. Ohio State now has a richness of new opportunities that would be the envy of most universities. During my days away, I also spent some time in self-reflection. And after much deliberation, I have decided it is now time for me to turn over the reins of leadership to allow the seeds that we have planted to grow. It is also time for me to reenergize and refocus myself,” said Gee in a written statement.
The announcement comes a week after comments made during a December meeting of the OSU Athletics Council. Gee joked that the University of Notre Dame wasn't invited to join the Big 10 because you "can't trust those damn Catholics." He also said the priests at Notre Dame were holy on Sunday by "holy hell" the rest of the week.
He later apologized.