The University of California, Berkeley's outgoing chancellor plans to lead a national effort to study and advocate for public colleges and universities.
Officials said Monday that Robert Birgeneau will lead an initiative called "The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education."
Birgeneau will lead a group of higher education leaders that will study the challenges facing public universities, including declining government support, technological change and changing demographics.
The project is named after President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the 1862 Morrill Act that led to the creation of state universities and land-grant colleges.
The initiative is being organized by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a research institute in Cambridge, Mass.
Birgeneau will step down as UC Berkeley's chancellor in June and return to teaching and research.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.