Shortly after the University System of Maryland announced Wallace Loh would remain the University of Maryland’s president until June 2020, the system confirmed it had been in talks with Loh for the last three months about its plans for the university’s leadership.

Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, the Board of Regents — which determines policy for the system’s 12 member institutions and has hiring and firing power over university presidents — had given no indication that Loh would be staying beyond June 2019.

Three months ago to the day, Loh announced that he would retire after the end of the spring semester, while football coach DJ Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans would continue in their roles. The announcement came following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair from heatstroke suffered at a team workout, and the subsequent investigation into reports of an abusive culture in the football team.

Students, players and politicians fiercely criticized the decision to keep Durkin, whom the investigation found was partially to blame for the abuse in the program. Barely 24 hours later, Loh made an abrupt about-face and fired the embattled coach.

[Read more: UMD President Wallace Loh is retiring. Here’s a look at his eight-year tenure.]

On Wednesday night, Loh told The Diamondback he’d been in discussions with the board for “a couple of months or so,” though he was unsure about the exact timeline.

“When I say discussions, I don’t mean we’re discussing it every day for two months. I know that they’re doing their due diligence, they have to talk to a whole bunch of other people about the transition,” he said. “My estimate is roughly two months, but that’s a question you need to ask them.”

In a news release, the system said it’s been in discussions with Loh, as well as “members of the campus community” and “leaders and stakeholders across the state about the upcoming leadership transition,” for the last three months about the leadership transition.

Before that, the Board of Regents had shared little information publicly about the process.

[Read more: At State of the Campus, UMD President Loh criticizes Regents, touts campus improvements]

“Selecting the leader of any USM institution is among the Board of Regents’ most important responsibilities,” USM Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden said in the release. “We must take the time necessary to identify and select a bold and talented leader who can continue the upward trajectory of one of the nation’s great public research universities.”

Loh emphasized that the timing of his new retirement date is to align with the completion or near-completion of major university initiatives. This would include the reform of the athletic department and the implementation of recommendations from reports on the school’s football program, and the school’s $1.5 billion campaign, Fearless Ideas.

“Of course, they want to make sure it’s successful, that’s it’s completed. I want to make sure it’s completed,” he said. “So [when] you put all of these factors together, one gets a sense of how long it will take to complete a whole bunch of things.”

When asked if he definitely plans to retire in June of 2020, Loh reaffirmed that was his intention.

“We have a mutual agreement, and again, it’s not the date — it is a firm date, because it’s a date based upon what needs to be done to affect this mission,” he said.