Chancellor Randy Woodson announced Fowler's decision Tuesday, and an interim director will be appointed prior to Fowler's departure on June 30. The university will begin its search for a permanent replacement immediately.
"We would like to thank Lee for his commitment to NC State over the years and wish him and his family success in the future," Woodson said.
Fowler said he and Chancellor Woodson talked Monday and agreed on his decision to leave.
Fowler released the following statement Tuesday regarding his years of service to the university:
"Naturally I am disappointed that I will not see firsthand the fruits of 10 year's work, but I have the greatest confidence that with the caliber of facilities and coaches we now have, along with a talented and dedicated administrative staff, the athletics program is poised for great success going forward.
I thank Chancellors Fox, Oblinger, Woodward and Woodson for the privilege of working under their excellent leadership. I want to thank and acknowledge Donn Ward and the great NC State faculty for their unwavering support.
Additionally, my family and I want to express our thanks for the outpouring of love and support we've received. Finally, I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His faithfulness in guiding my decisions and look forward to what His blessings will bring to NC State and me."
The university said it would honor its obligations to Fowler under his employment contract. The contract expires on Sept. 30, 2013, and calls for Fowler to receive an annual salary of $280,000.