A former Harvard professor was named Saturday as acting chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley.
Martin Meyerson, former professor of City Planning, succeeds Edward W. Strong, who was granted an indefinite leave of absence to recuperate from a recent illness.
Meyerson, whose appointment became effective Saturday, had served at Berkeley for only six months. He was appointed to the faculty last July as dean of environmental studies. Previously a member of the Harvard Faculty, he had been acting dean of the Graduate School of Design, and had been director of the Harvard-M.I.T. Joint Center for Urban Studies.
The return of the Berkeley student body today will mark the start of a period of great challenge for Meyerson. He is faced with the task of molding a functioning university out of a seething mass of unrest.
As the new executive of the Berkeley Campus, it will be up to him to interpret and to enforce the rules governing student on-campus political activity. It was former chancellor Strong's assertedly rigid interpretation of these rules that brought him under fire from students and faculty.
The executive turnover occurs in the wake of moderate successes for the Free Speech Movement.
In mid-December a seven-man emergency committee was elected by the faculty to serve as spokesman before the California Board of Regents. In an evident spirit of compromise, the committee's chairman, Arthur M. Ross said he saw nothing against student rallies, but referred to sit-ina and boycotts as "witless activity."
Ross informed the regents that the faculty would probably be satisfied if the university would agree to do away with its double jeapordy policy on student discipline. Under this policy, a student whose actions violate both state laws and university rules is subject to legal and to disciplinary action.
In its meeting on Dec. 18, the Regents ceded the right of the university to add its discipline to that of the courts. They rejected, however, another proposal of the faculty committee, which urged that a committee of professors be set up to handle future disciplinary problems.
The regents also created a threeman committee to conduct an investigation on the university's rules on political protests and possibly to suggest changes in them.