STANFORD — Hoover Institution Director W. Glenn Campbell, who for nearly three decades has led the think tank that launched many of the conservative ideas and leaders of the Reagan presidency, said he will step down next year.
Campbell said he hopes his move will end the academic, political and legal dispute that has split the liberal Stanford University campus.
Campbell, who has led Hoover since 1960, proposes to step aside as director after he turns 65 next April but remain in the job until his successor takes over next summer.
His surprise announcement comes two months after he vowed to sue Stanford if it tried to oust him at 65, five years before he planned to leave, on the grounds it was the customary retirement age at the university.
Campbell said he will remain at Hoover in an advisory role and will hold the title of counselor, serve as a member of all selection and advisory committees, and stay in his office, formerly occupied by the institution's founder, President Herbert Hoover.
"I used to be a young warrior, now I'm an aging warrior but not yet an old warrior," he said in an interview Monday before presenting his proposal to Hoover's Board of Overseers.
Hoover has been a frequent target of criticism by Stanford faculty and students who disapprove of its conservative political activities and ties to the Reagan Administration.
President Reagan, an honorary fellow at Hoover, charted his course as California governor and in the White House with the help of institution advisers, including economists Martin Anderson and Milton Friedman.
Departing Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese III recently accepted Campbell's invitation to join Hoover as a visiting fellow while he writes a book on his years with Reagan.
Campbell, a Harvard economist, was selected by former President Hoover as his successor at the institution.