Although his role at the Higher Education Authority (HEA) will be on secondment rather than permanent, he has less than two years left of a five-year term at WIT.
The college’s governing body accepted a Department of Education request for Mr Neavyn to become adviser to HEA chief executive Tom Boland on the institute of technology sector.
A WIT spokesperson could not elaborate on the arrangements but an official statement said the governing body is taking immediate steps to appoint a new president.
The timescale for a recruitment process makes it unlikely the office would be filled until January 2017, when Mr Neavyn’s five-year term expires.
He was not available for interview but, in the college statement, Mr Neavyn said he is delighted to accept the new role. “Having worked in five institutes of technology at all levels from lecturer to president over the past 25 years, I look forward to applying my experience at a national level with the HEA,” he said.
In November, Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan asked HEA ex-chairman Michael Kelly to try reactivating talks on a merger between WIT and IT Carlow which WIT withdrew from in October. The merger was to precede an application to become a technological university for the south-east.