SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The president of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse is stepping down amid criticism from faculty and staff about his hiring, personnel and financial practices.

Quentin Wheeler announced Wednesday that he will resign June 30. He said in a statement that opposition to his initiatives has become a distraction to the students, staff and administration.

Wheeler took over as president of ESF in January 2014. This January, he abruptly ousted three highly respected long-time department chairs, telling students they weren’t team players.

In a recent vote, 85 percent of union members at ESF said Wheeler’s contract should not be renewed. Wheeler’s annual salary is $291,000.

SUNY announced that interim leadership will be appointed effective July 1 and a search will be initiated for the next president.