The dean of Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law has announced he will step down effective July 31 to take a position at Peking University, Penn State said Thursday.

Philip J. McConnaughay, who also was founding dean of Penn State's School of International Affairs, will become dean of Peking's School of Transnational law in Shenzhen, China, beginning Aug. 1.

McConnaughay has led the law school, now with locations at both University Park and Carlisle, since 2002.

His decision to depart comes as the university prepares to operate the two law schools as separately accredited campuses by 2015. That plan came about after Gov. Corbett and the Cumberland County commissioners opposed Penn State's plans to discontinue its first year program at the Carlisle campus and offer upper level classes and international programs.

McConnaughay said in an interview in November that he intended to stay on as dean of the University Park law school.