In a press release issued by the Atlanta school, Franklin will remain at the college until the end of the 2012 academic year. Then he will take a sabbatical as a Scholar in Residence at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Institute.

“I look forward to a sabbatical during which I intend to travel, write, speak and interview leaders about the condition of boys and men in the U.S. and around the globe, research that I began years ago in my book, ‘Crisis in the Village,'” said Franklin.

A 1975 graduate of the all male school, Franklin plans to return after his stint at Stanford.

Morehouse’s board of trustees named him President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor, the college’s highest honor.

“I am grateful to the board of trustees for the invitation … and the opportunity to continue supporting the mission of Morehouse in a different way,” Franklin said.

Under Franklin’s leadership, he helped increase alumni giving from 17% to 36%, three times the national average, according to the school’s press release. Franklin also helped generated more than $60 million in federal grants and contracts and $33 million in support of the college’s comprehensive campaign, during its quiet phase, from corporations, foundations and individual donors.

“Dr. Franklin has served an integral role leading the renaissance of Morehouse, and his dedication is greatly appreciated,” said Robert Davidson, chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees. “In addition to his years of service, Robert has led by example, dedicating a substantial portion of his time to community service, which is one of the core values that Morehouse seeks to instill in each and every one of its students. We will miss him as the Board endeavors to find a successor who will help to usher the college into a new era.”

Davidson said the trustees have already started “a rigorous search to identify a successor and Franklin is committed to a smooth and seamless transition.”

If a new President has not been selected by July 1, Franklin has agreed to stay on board until Dec. 31.